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The Heart of

Dhammak±ya Meditation
Volume 1

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith

Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m

Based on the Teachings of

The Most Venerable Chao Khun
Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni

Published by
Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m
Damnoen Saduak District, Rajburi Province
70130, Thailand

Recognized Excellence
• Rajburi: Provincial Meditation Institute & Provincial Pali
Studies Center
• Sangha Ecclesiastical Region 15 Academic
Services Unit for Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya
University (Covering four central provinces)
• National Coordination Center of Provincial Meditation
Institutes of Thailand
• Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute,
Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University

1st Edition 06 March 1991

2nd Edition January 1997
3rd Edition May 2009

Copyright c 2009 by
Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m
ISBN 978-974-8097-53-4
All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced

or transmitted in any form without
the prior permission of the publisher.

The text of The Heart Of Dhammak±ya Medi-

tation Volume 1 is recommended for everyone be-
cause of its significant value. The text is not only
of great academic value, but also provides immea-
surable spiritual benefits for those who practice it.
Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith should be highly com-
mended for his efforts and dedication to help
others understand Vijj± Dhammak±ya.

The Most Venerable

Somdej Phra Buddhajahn
Abbot, Wat Srakesa Rajavara-Mahavihara


Dedication ........................................................................................ VI
Acknowledgements ...................................................................... VII
Forward by Somdej Phra Maharajmangkalajahn ..... IX
Forward by Phrarajbrahmathera ......................................... XI

The Heart of Dhammak±ya Meditation Vol 1

I Introduction .......................................................................... 1

II Concentration-Insight Meditation
Samadha-Vipassan±à ................................................... 7

III Development of Right Concentration

Samadha Practice ........................................................ 19

IV Development of Right Wisdom

Vipassan±àPractice ...................................................... 41

V Vijj±àDhammak±ya Meditation Practice ........... 71

VI Questions and Answers ........................................ 105

VII Conclusion ........................................................................ 131

Notes ................................................................................ 133



A The Pre-Meditation Service ........................................ 142

B Glossary .................................................................................. 151

C The Author: Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith........................ 165

D Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni ...................... 173

E Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m .......... 179

F Phra Maha Jetiya Somdej ........................................ 203

G Buddhist Meditation Institute ..................................... 207

H Wat Luang Phor Sodh Websites .......................... 217



Figure 1: Luang Phor Sodh Candasaro

With deepest reverence,
we dedicate this book and all of our efforts
at Wat Luang Phor Sodh to
The Venerable Chao Khun
Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni
Luang Phor Sodh Candasaro
who cleared the path for us.

Figure 2:
Luang Phor Sodh giving meditation instruction


I am deeply indebted to all Dhamma devotees

who have contributed in many ways toward the
publication of this book. Their total support was
indispensable. They include Phra Khru Baitika Dr.
Barton Yanathiro, Phra William Akapunyo, Phra
Natpakanan Kunanggalo, Dr. Tan Pek Hong, Mr.
Victor Toh Peng Kee, Mr. John Ladalski, Mr. Reng-
son Mualchontham, and Mr. Vuthichai Achariyaphorn,
to mention a few. May all be blessed for their
meritorious efforts.

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith

Abbot, Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m


About five hundred years after the Great

Decease of Lord Buddha, there remained no evidence
of the Dhammak±ya meditation technique. After
devoted practice, the Venerable Chao Khun Phra
Mongkol-Thepmuni restored the principles of
Dhammak±ya meditation and taught them. Today
the approach has become well-known once again.
The Venerable Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-
Thepmuni once said that Dhammak±ya meditation
would be known all over the country, primarily
because it penetrates right to the heart of the
practice of purification. Defilements such as greed,
hatred, delusion, conceit, wrongview, doubt, sloth,
restlessness, shamelessness, and lack of moral
dread are uprooted naturally and effectively. Avijj±àor
ignorance becomes Vijj± or knowledge.
Dhammak±ya meditation is not a new practice,
as many believe. It is the original Buddha-Teaching.
Dhammak±ya meditation is the exact path that the
Buddha practiced. It is cited many times in the
Tipitaka (Buddhist Canon), and directly follows the
Noble Eightfold Path which is classified into the
three categories of S²la or morality, Samadha or

Right Concentration, and Vipassan±àor Right Wisdom.

In combination with the four Satipaμμh±na or Foundations
of Mindfulness, the Samadha and Vipassan±àwill
advance to Right Wisdom pertaining to the Saªkh±ra
or compounds and Visaªkh±ra or non-compounds.
The Right Wisdom of the Four Noble Truths will be
unfolded. Nibb±na or freedom from all conditioning
and suffering will, thus, be attained.
Without Lord Buddha, this teaching would
never have been known and practiced. Without the
Venerable Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni, Dhammak±ya
meditation would never have been well known
again. It is un-surpassingly lucky to have this book
in your hand. Various benefits will be gained even
at the beginning of Dhammak±ya meditation practice.

The Most Venerable Somdej

Phra Maharajmangkalajahn
Abbot, Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen
Vice President, Dhammak±ya Buddhist
Meditation Institute


Cease to do evil; cultivate doing good and

purify your mind. That is the Teaching of the
Buddhas. This has been regarded as the heart of
the practice of Buddhism. In modern society, where
dissatisfaction often runs deep and disturbs the
world populace, the wise are again coming to see
the disillusionment of their sensual search and are
turning their attention spiritually inward. Many have
come to testify to the value of observing and
practicing the Teaching and making the Dhamma a
reality within their own hearts.
Hard to control, unstable is the mind; it flits
wherever it likes. Good is it to subdue the mind.
A subdued mind brings happiness. Meditation, in
turn, leads to a calm, controlled and enlightened
This book, The Heart of Dhammak±ya
Meditation, deals with meditation practice as
expounded by the Master of Vijj±àDhammak±ya,
my own teacher, the late Venerable Chao Khun
Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni. He is our prominent spiritual
leader who is revered through the land and fondly
known as “Luang Phor Wat Paknam.” The author

and my pupil, the Venerable Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith,

is an experienced and accomplished meditation
instructor who is to be admired for presenting the
subject clearly, systematically and succintly.
Learning (pariyatti), practice (paμipatti), and
achieving the end purpose (paμivedha) are the
three main parts of Buddhist tenets. This book
should inspire many readers. It is based upon the
author’s teachings as spoken from the heart,
from the depths of his own meditative experience.
This book should serve well to present concisely
the second and third parts of the Buddhist
tenets (concentration Samadhi and wisdom Paññ±)
to many meditation practitioners.

Venerable Chao Khun Phrarajbrahmathera

Deputy Abbot and
Director of Meditation Affairs
Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen
Chapter I


This text is for all who seek to understand

reality or the true meaning of life as well as those
who seek inner purification. Wisdom and virtue
develop hand-in-hand. As the meditator progresses
beyond the distortions of the passions, insight
sharpens and understanding deepens.
Vijj± Dhammak±ya does not require blind
faith. You do not have to believe in Buddhism to
benefit from it. It is a method for training the mind
to become concentrated and keenly aware, focused
inward at the center of the body. With practice,
you will encounter new experiences for yourself and
will develop confidence.
In 1916 (B.E. 2459), Luang Phor Sodh Candasaro
(Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni) rediscovered
the Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach to meditation which
had been lost sometime during the first five
hundred years following the passing away of Lord
2 Chapter I

Buddha. The technique leads the meditator directly

along the path to enlightenment and emancipation
by combining concentration (Samadha) and insight
(Vipassan±) meditation techniques. It is, thus, ex-
tremely focused and effective.
Vijj±àDhammak±ya practice has become popular
and widespread throughout Thailand. This book is
intended to make the method more widely available
to English speakers.

Meditation begins with turning the powers of
observation and awareness inward. We are accus-
tomed to perceiving the outside world, but intro-
spection requires special effort. Steeped in science,
we have prided ourselves on “objectivity” while
remaining largely unaware of inner biases.
Traditional scientific objectivity required isola-
tion from the object observed. Since quantum
mechanics was introduced, science has recognized
that we are part of the world we perceive and
what we see depends on how we look at it.
Meditation is like polishing a lens to enable us to
see more clearly. Skill in meditation develops the
ability to perceive experience directly without the
distortions implicit in conceptualization.
Introduction 3

Many seekers turn to meditation because of

dissatisfaction with life. This is the universally
experienced sadness / suffering / tension (Dukkha)
on which Lord Buddha based the Four Noble
Truths. But, this motivation to ease tensions or
cope with anxieties is only a starting point. Many
meditation techniques will provide relief on this
worldly level, but the beauty of Vijj± Dhammak±ya
is that it leads directly upwards from this plane to
more and more refined, purer and purer levels of
The effectiveness of the Vijj±àDhammak±ya
approach derives from focusing attention at the
center of the body and combining three meditation
techniques simultaneously. Meditators often debate
the efficacy of concentration (Samadha) versus
insight (Vipassan±). Vijj±àDhammak±ya employs ele-
ments of both. Higher and higher levels of concen-
tration enable personal insight to progress from a
more worldly view to Right Understanding and
ultimately to supra-mundane Right Wisdom.
4 Chapter I

The Book
The Heart of Dhammak±ya Meditation is
based on lectures given at the Buddhist Vihara,
Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur during a three-day visit to
Malaysia, August 1st to 3rd 1990. In addition, I
have included the chapter on Vijj± Dhammak±ya
Meditation Practice to complement the theoretical
aspect of the three lectures from the practical
The original lectures were interspersed with
meditation practice. In fact, the procedure was
usually to practice first and discuss afterwards. We
have had to adopt a more academic approach for
the general reader, but I urge all to try practicing
the meditation approach presented. Vijj±àDhammak±ya
practice is described in Chapter V and additional
aids such as sound and video tapes are available
from the Wat Luang Phor Sodh websites www.
meditationpark.org, or dhammacenter.org in English,
or dhammakaya.org in Thai.
The First Edition of this book was published
by the Dhammak±ya Buddhist Meditation Foundation
in March 1991, largely due to the devotion and
dedication of our Malaysian colleagues at the
Dhammak±ya Meditation Resource Center (DMRC) in
Kuala Lumpur. The second edition was revised in
Introduction 5

the United States to make the teachings available

to a wider audience. This Third Edition has been
revised at Wat Luang Phor Sodh to make the
teachings available to English speakers worldwide.
Chapter II considers the relationship between
Concentration-Insight Meditation (Samadha-Vipassan±)
and the Noble Eightfold Path. Chapters III and IV
deal with the development of Right Concentration
and Right Wisdom respectively. Chapter V presents
Dhamma Practice according to the Dhammak±ya
approach. Chapter VI answers commonly asked
questions, and Chapter VII provides a summary and
conclusion. The appendices provide the reader with
a biography of our spiritual leader, the late Chao
Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni, as well as a bio-
graphy of the author, Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith. Other
appendices present the premeditation service, a
glossary, Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m,
Phra Maha Jetiya Somdej, the Wat Luang Phor
Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute, and the Wat
Luang Phor Sodh Websites.
It should be noted that, for precision, Pali
terms are included throughout the text in italics,
using the Romanized alphabet according to Warder
(1991). 1 The letter ½ is pronounced “ng”. For the
convenience of our readers, we have, throughout,
6 Chapter I

written the mantra or repetitive word (parikamma-

bh±van±) as Samm±àArahang rather than Samm±
Araha½ Pali words are defined in the Glossary and
philosophical debates are discussed in the Notes.
Capitalization is used to distinguish between dhamma
and Dhamma, where the former refers to all
compound phenomena and the latter to the teach-
ings of Lord Buddha.
In Pali, singular or plural are usually differen-
tiated by various forms such as Dhamma (singular)
and Dhamm±à(plural). To avoid confusion for the
general reader, in this book, the suffix “s” is
sometimes added to represent the plural.
Technical Buddhist terms like Right Under-
standing, Five Hindrances and Eightfold Path are
capitalized to indicate that they should be under-
stood in the special sense intended by the Enlight-
ened One. The word Right, for example, relates to
the absolute or ultimate as opposed to the conven-
tional “right” which is a matter of personal point-
I welcome comments from all readers and
critics. I will feel that all these efforts are worth-
while if readers practice the meditation technique
and realize for themselves what Vijj±àDhammak±ya
is all about.
Chapter II

Meditation by concentration of the mind to

remove the Five Hindrances is known as Samadha,
while the contemplation of physical body, feelings,
mental functions and phenomena (dhamma) to de-
velop Right Wisdom is called Vipassan±. The Vijj±
Dhammak±ya approach includes aspects of both
Samadha and Vipassan±àmeditation.
After Enlightenment, Lord Buddha taught Four
Noble Truths. These are Suffering (Dukkha), the
Cause of Suffering (Samudaya), Cessation of Suf-
fering (Nirodha), and the Noble Eightfold Path
(Magga) leading to the extinction of suffering. The
Noble Eightfold Path (Ariyo Aμμhaªgiko Maggo) con-
sists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right
Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort,
Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration of mind.
Dhamma Practices leading to the Noble Eightfold
8 Chapter II

Path are classified under the three categories, S²la

or morality, Samadha or Right Concentration and
Vipassan±àor Right Wisdom.

Let’s first consider how to follow the first
three folds of the Noble Eightfold Path which are
known collectively as S²la (Morality). These are
Right Speech, Right Action (or Conduct), and Right
Living (or Livelihood). When a person accepts
precepts and practices S²la, it helps to prevent
wrong speech and wrong action resulting from
wrong mentality, which arises under the influence of
Greed, Attachment, Anger, Ill-will, or Delusion. Prac-
ticing speech, bodily action and thought based on
the precepts of morality helps us become more
and more peaceful.

Samadha Meditation leads us to the next
three folds of the Noble Eightfold Path. These are
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentra-
tion. The practice of Samadha Meditation deals with
concentration. It helps to remove the Five Hin-
drances (Nivar±ºa) to wisdom which are attachment
Concentration-Insight Meditation 9

to Sensual Desire, Ill-will, Inactivity or Sleepiness,

Anxiety or Restlessness of mind, and Doubtfulness.
Samadha Meditation also helps to develop mind
powers (Abhiññ±), especially super-normal vision and
supernormal hearing. These, in turn, assist in the
development of supernormal knowledge of the past
and future. Samadha also helps in learning about
the natural Law of Kamma or Karma (cause and
effect) as well as rebirth. This is very helpful for
developing Right Wisdom in Vipassan±àmeditation.
Samadha meditation also helps to calm down and
remove Craving, Passion, and Attachment to com-
pounds or worldly objects.

Vipassan±àMeditation is the technique for
developing Right Wisdom. This derives from contem-
plation of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness
(Satipaμμh±na), the physical body, feelings, mental
functions and Dhamma 2. It includes Right Wisdom
with regard to the Five Hindrances, the Five
Aggregates, the Four Noble Truths, and the twelve
links in the Chain of Dependent Origination. (Paμicca-
Concerning Right Wisdom, we should develop
Right Understanding of the two fundamental aspects
10 Chapter II

of Nature: first is Right Understanding of the three

common characteristics of compounds. Lord Buddha
Sabbe saªkh±r±àanicc±à
All compounds are impermanent.
Sabbe saªkh±r±àdukkh±à
All compounds are unsatisfactory
or subject to suffering.
Therefore, any person who attaches to compounds
with craving and delusion will suffer, according to
the degree of attachment. Finally,
Sabbe dhamma anatt±à
All compounds are devoid of self.
Some translate the phrase sabbe dhamma
literally as “all phenomena” (both compound and
non-compound). This is not true. According to Lord
Buddha’s Teaching in the Dhammapada Pali text,
as interpreted by the original arahant commentators
and by the most recent translators (Carter and
Palihawadana 1987) 3, the words sabbe dhamma, in
this context, refer only to the Five Aggregates.
These are saªkh±ra or compounds. Thus, the
reference excludes pure, non-compound aspects of
nature such as Nibb±na.
Concentration-Insight Meditation 11

The second aspect of nature to be dis-

cerned with Right Wisdom is Right Understanding of
non-compound nature (Visaªkh±r±). This means “the
pure” and pertains to Nibb±na. The Pali Canon
describes Nibb±na as not subject to change, of
pure essence (Dhammas±ra½) 4 and absolutely per-
manent (Nicca½) 5. It is everlasting (t±di/dhuva½) 6,
with no more death and rebirth. Any person who
attains Nibb±na will find supreme peace and happi-
ness (Nibb±na½ÿparama½ÿsukha½)

The Noble Eightfold Path

Vipassan±àMeditation also helps to develop
Right Wisdom of the Four Noble Truths. These
include the Noble Eightfold Path as the fourth Noble
Truth, the path leading to the cessation of all
suffering. Vipassan±àleads to Right Thought and
Right Intention. Right Thought pertaining to the Four
Noble Truths and Right Intention for the removal of
all passions. This includes the subtlest passion,
mental attachment (Anusaya Kilesa or ¾sava Kilesa)
and the subtlest ignorance, especially inherent mis-
conception (Avijj±sava or Avijj±-anusaya) which is
the root cause of suffering.
12 Chapter II

Vipassan± also helps to cut the Chain of

Dependent Origination. Initially, ignorance (Avijj±) gives
rise to impression (Saªkh±r±), impression brings
about consciousness (Viññ±ºa), consciousness origi-
nates the psycho-physical organism (N±ma-r³pa),
and this results in the sense organs (Sa¼±yatana).
These, in turn, bring about contact (Phassa), feeling
(Vedan±), craving (Taºh±), attachment (Up±d±na),
the will-to-become (Bhava), rebirth (J±ti), and the
suffering of old age, sickness, despair, sorrow and
death (Jar±-maraºa).
When the Noble Eightfold Path is perfectly
cleared, at least the following three fetters will be
1. Wrong View (Sakk±yadiμμhi) about the
characteristics of all compounds
2. Doubtfulness (Vicikicch±) about the Dhamma
Practice leading to Nibb±na
3. Wrong Religious Practices (S²labbatapar±m±sa)

Those who have fully opened the Noble

Eightfold Path and are able to cut these fetters will
become Noble disciples, beginning as Stream Enterers
Concentration-Insight Meditation 13

Let us consider the principles underlying the
Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach to Samadha-Vipas-
san±àmeditation. Some may think that the ap-
proach is new and is not in the scriptures or is
not Lord Buddha’s teachings. In fact, this method is
exactly the teaching of Buddha.
The final goal of meditation is to reach
Nibb±na by removing all ignorance and passions,
and by developing Right Wisdom regarding the path
of attainment. All this is possible when you reach
Dhammak±ya. Dhammak±ya is really Lord Buddha.
Lord Buddha said in the Suttantapiμaka, D²gha-
Nik±ya, P±tika-vagga Aggañña-Sutta:
Tath±gatassa heta½ÿv±seμμh±àadhivacanam
Dhammak±yo itipi, Brahmak±yo itipi,
Dhammabh³to itipi, Brahmabh³to itipi.
This means Dhammak±ya is the name of
Lord Buddha, or is Lord Buddha. Both Lord Buddha
and the other Noble Ones (Arahanta) spoke of
Dhammak±ya. They described Enlightenment or at-
tainment of Nibb±na through the arising of Dhamma-
14 Chapter II

So, Lord Buddha and the Arahanta are

really Dhammak±ya which is the purest element. It
is non-compound, and very different from the crude
body. The crude body is a compound thing like the
Five Aggregates, which is subjected to change.
Anyone who is attached to such compounds will
suffer, because soon the compounds will no longer
exist. The Dhammak±ya Arahant is not of that
character. He is permanent. The Pali word Dhamma-
s±ra½ means “elemental” and Nicca½ÿmeans “per-
manent”. Nibb±na½ÿparama½ sukha½ÿmeans Nibb±na
is the highest or supreme happiness (pertaining to
something which exists without change forever). The
Pali words T±di or Dhuva½ÿare used when refer-
ring to Nibb±na which is non-compound like Dhamma-
k±ya. Lord Buddha said:
Bhikkhus, non-compound nature
exists; if the non-compound or purest
nature were non-existent, there would
be no detachment from that which is
compound. It is due to the existence
of the non-compound that detachment
from the compound becomes possible.
Nibb±na Sutta III .
Concentration-Insight Meditation 15

Some ask why nobody mentioned Dhamma-

k±ya earlier7. In fact, all of this information is in
the scriptures. Then, why did so many overlook it?
I can only answer that Luang Phor Wat Paknam,
in particular, meditated all the way to Nibb±na and
could see these two natures, the compound and
non-compound, exactly as Lord Buddha described
them. I cannot comment on those who say other-
wise. Those who hear this Dhamma which talks
about both the compound and the non-compound
(Nibb±na) are very lucky.
In the following chapters we will examine the
principles of Samadha and Vipassan± along with
Vijj±àDhammak±ya. You will see the Vijj±àDhammak±ya
approach is exactly in accordance with Lord Buddha’s
teachings and aims directly at supra-mundane Right
Wisdom (Nibb±na). The Dhammak±ya, which is
the purest element, is non-compound and possesses
characteristics of Nibb±na. Luang Phor Wat Paknam
taught his disciples to aim at the Right, purest
Dhammak±ya nature, or Nibb±na, and to understand
Nibb±na in all aspects.
We have seen that Lord Buddha was
enlightened to the Four Noble Truths: Suffering, the
Cause of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering, and the
Noble Eightfold Path leading to the extinction of
suffering. We have also described the three basic
16 Chapter II

Dhamma Practices that develop the Noble Eightfold

Path: S²la or observance of moral precepts, Samadha
Meditation for concentration of the mind to remove
the Five Hindrances, and Vipassan± Meditation which
involves contemplation of the physical body, feel-
ings, mental functions and Dhamma to develop
Right Wisdom.
When the Noble Eightfold Path is firmly
established, meditators will be able to cut at least
three fetters (Saªyojana). These are Wrong View
regarding the characteristics of compounds (Sakk±-
yadiμμhi), Doubtfulness about the Three Gems and
Dhamma Practices (Vicikicch±), and Wrong Practices
(S²labbatapar±m±sa). With these three fetters re-
moved, practitioners will be able to become Stream
Enterer (Sot±panna) Noble Disciples and eventually
attain Nibb±na.

In summary, meditation by concentrating the
mind to remove the Five Hindrances is known as
Samadha, while contemplation of the physical body,
feelings, mental functions and Dhamma to develop
Right Wisdom is called Vipassan±. These meditation
practices must be based on S²la or moral precepts.
Anyone practicing these Dhammaàcan be sure they
Concentration-Insight Meditation 17

will attain Right Wisdom concerning Suffering, the

Cause of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering, and the
Noble Eightfold Path leading to the extinction of
suffering – in short, the Four Noble Truths.
The Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach includes
aspects of both Samadha and Vipassan±. It is not
a new doctrine. Dhammak±ya is mentioned in the
scriptures7 and the method follows exactly Lord
Buddha’s teachings. This meditation technique leads
directly to Nibb±na. Dhammak±ya is the non-
compound. Thus, it is Nibb±na and is Lord Buddha.
The approach is especially effective because the
meditator who has reached Dhammak±ya can see
and experience both compound and non-compound
nature. With practice, he or she can cut the fetters
and become a Noble Disciple. By cutting the first
three fetters, one becomes a Stream-Enterer
(Sot±panna). After continuing to cut all fetters, one
becomes a Dhammak±ya Saint (Arahant).
Chapter III


Samadha Practice

Meditation by concentrating the mind is known

as Samadha (Serenity). Samadha removes the Five
Hindrances (N²varaºa) and prepares the mind for
Wisdom (Vipassan±) Meditation. The Five Hindrances
are attachment to sensual desire, ill-will, inactivity or
sleepiness, anxiety or restlessness, and doubt.
The mind is accustomed to flitting from
object to object in the outside world. Concentrating
the mind and bringing it inward requires effort, but
the mind cannot be forced. Therefore, Lord Buddha
taught various concentration devices.

Concentration Devices
Lord Buddha taught forty 8 concentration devices
or meditation subjects for tranquilizing the mind
(Buddhaghosa, The Path of Purification) 9. They are
20 Chapter III

the ten recollections (Anussati), ten meditations on

impurities (Asubha), ten complete objects (Kasiºa),
four immaterial absorptions (Ar³pajh±na), four divine
abidings (Brahmavih±ra), one perception (¾h±re
paμik³lasaññ±) or contemplation of the impurity of
material food, and one defining contemplation
(Vavatth±na) on the Four Elements (Earth, Water,
Fire, and Air).
The ten Anussati or recollections are:
(1) Buddh±nussati or recollection of the virtues of
the Buddha,
(2) Dhamm±nussati or recollection of the virtues of
the Dhamma,
(3) Saªgh±nussati or recollection of the virtues of
the Saªgh±,
(4) S²l±nussati or recollection of the duties of
(5) C±g±nussati or recollection of generosity,
(6) Devat±nussati or recollection of celestial beings,
(7) Maraºassati or recollection of death,
(8) K±yagat±sati or mindfulness of the body,
(9) ¾n±p±nasati or mindfulness of breathing, and
(10) Upasam±nussati or recollection of Nibb±na or
The Development of Right Concentration 21

The ten impurities or kinds of foulness

(Asubha) are
(1) the bloated, (2) the livid,
(3) the festering, (4) the cut-up,
(5) the gnawed, (6) the scattered,
(7) the hacked and scattered,
(8) the bleeding,
(9) the worm-infested, and
(10) a skeleton.

The ten Kasiºa or complete objects are

(1) Earth, (2) Water,
(3) Fire, (4) Wind,
(5) Space (¾k±sa), (6) Light (¾loka Kasiºa)
and (7-10) the four colors or Vaººa Kasiºa
(blue, yellow, red, and white).

The four divine abodes or Brahmavih±ra are

(1) loving kindness (Mett±), (2) compassion (Karuº±),
(3) sympathetic joy (Mudit±), and (4) equanimity
22 Chapter III

A meditator can select any one or combi-

nation of these forty meditation subjects, according
to his or her own character. For example, Kasiºa
concentration is very suitable for those with sensual
desire, restlessness of mind, or inclination toward
anger, hatred or ill will. For those whose habits are
intellectual thought, devotion or delusion, mindfulness
of breathing (¾n±p±nasati) and recollection of Buddha’s
virtues (Buddh±nussati) are most suitable.

Vijj±àDhammak±ya Meditation
Vijj±àDhammak±ya Meditation is based on
four principles: three methods of concentration and
the Principle of the Center. The three concentration
techniques are: meditating on an object of visual-
ization (Kasiºa), recollection of Lord Buddha’s vir-
tues (Buddh±nussati) and mindfulness of breathing
The Principle of the Center specifies that
these three methods of concentration are all ap-
plied simultaneously at the center of the body.
Thereafter, meditation proceeds to successively higher
levels by always focusing at the center of the
center. This combination of techniques is effective
for meditators of all different types.
The Development of Right Concentration 23

The Object of Visualization

The Vijj±àDhammak±ya object of visualiza-
tion (Parikamma-nimitta) is usually a luminous sphere
or translucent Buddha Statue (see figure 7 on page
73). In Bh±van± or meditation practice, we teach
visualization of the light sphere (¾loka-kasiºa).
When you visualize, your mind resides in the
object you conceive. Whatever you see in the
mind, your mind is right there. If you think about
members of your household, your mind will be with
them. If you visualize a sphere and you see the
sphere, it means that all four components of the
mind have come together inside the sphere. This is
why we ask you to imagine a sphere. This helps
to concentrate the components of the mind. If you
lose mindfulness of the sphere, you will see
something else. This means your mind has gone
elsewhere. Try to keep visualizing in order to keep
your mind inside the sphere.
The four components of the mind are the
spheres of vision, memory, thought and awareness.
Use all four in imagining the sphere. Visualize it.
Remember what the sphere is like. (It is transparent
like this, clear like this...) Think about the sphere all
the time. There is a transparent spot at the very
24 Chapter III

center of the sphere. Keep your awareness fo-

cused there. Don’t let the mind wander away.
Know all about the sphere.
Visualization progresses through three stages
on the way to the first state of absorption (Jh±na).
First is ordinary perception. The meditation object
(Kasiºa) visualized at the beginning is called the
preliminary vision (Parikamma-nimitta).
As the meditator concentrates on the light
object and commits it to memory, the image
becomes more and more refined, clearer and
clearer, until it looks like a crystal ball. This is
known as the learning sign (Uggaha-nimitta) and is
the first level of meditation. Luang Phor Wat
Paknam taught his disciples to visualize the light
sphere or Parikamma-nimitta until the Uggaha-nimitta
When the meditator concentrates at the
center of the Uggaha-nimitta until it becomes very
clear, bright and still, he or she will become able
to enlarge or reduce it. Then, the counterpart sign
(Paμibh±ga-nimitta), which looks like a crystal sphere,
will emerge. This is the second stage of concen-
tration, the light object (¾loka-kasiºa), and is called
Parikamma-bh±van±àor preliminary meditation.
The Development of Right Concentration 25

The appearance of theâ¾loka-kasiºa marks

the beginning of substantial meditation. The purpose
of this approach is to bring all of the mind
components in the crystal sphere to be more and
more perfectly concentrated at the center of the
body. This concentration helps to remove all the
hindrances such as inactivity or sloth, sleepiness
and doubtfulness.
When the meditator stops still at the center
of the light object (Paμibh±ga-nimitta), he or she will
feel delight in this state of mind and ill-will will be
removed. If fear creeps in, the practitioner will lose
this state, but if he or she continues to become
more and more peaceful, stopping still at the center
of each center to become more and more refined,
the Paμibh±ga-nimitta will become very bright and
clear, and the meditator will feel very happy or
blissful. Restlessness of mind and anxiety will be
removed. By keeping the mind still at the center,
all sensual desires will be removed. This stage is
the first absorption or Paμhama-jh±na. This is
concentration on the light object or ¾loka-kasiºa. It
is one of the easiest and most effective methods
for concentrating the mind.
26 Chapter III

Recollection of Buddha’s Virtues

Vijj±à Dhammak±ya meditation combines
visualization of the light object (¾loka-kasiºa) with
recollection of Buddha’s virtues. Buddh±nussati is
cultivated by means of a repetitive word or mantra
The Vijj±àDhammak±ya mantra is “Samm±
Arahang”. Samm± means Right, Highest or Ultimate.
It stands for Samm± Sambuddho which means the
Buddha’s Supreme Right Enlightenment or Supreme
Right Wisdom. The word Arahang means the virtue
of the Buddha being far away from passion. In
other words, it represents perfect purity. Thus,
when you repeat the words “Samm±àArahang,
“Samm±àArahang” you are calling Buddha’s wisdom
and purity into your mind. This is Buddh±nussati or
recollection of Lord Buddha’s virtue.
The meditator mentally repeats Samm± Arahang
while simultaneously visualizing the light object (¾loka-
kasiºa). The recitation helps to make the vision of
the sphere bright and clear.
The Development of Right Concentration 27

Mindfulness of Breathing
Vijj±à Dhammak±ya Meditation also com-
bines Mindfulness of Breathing (¾n±p±nasati) with
Visualization of the Light Object (¾loka-kasiºa) and
repetition of Samm± Arahang. All three techniques
are focused at the center of the body.
Those who perform mindfulness of breathing
or ¾n±p±nasati correctly stay mindful of the breath
touching a fixed point and visualize it. They do not
follow the breathing in and out or up and down.
In this way the mind becomes more and more
refined and finally stops still. Luang Phor Wat
Paknam applied ¾n±p±nasati to the center of the
body to help the mind become concentrated there.
To focus the mind at the center of the
body where your breathing ends, concentrate your
mindfulness at the center of the light sphere and
observe your breathing in and out. Your breath
passes through the sphere and you can visualize it.
This is mindfulness of breathing or ¾n±p±nasati.
Do this until you see the sphere clearer and
clearer, then forget about the breathing.
â¾n±p±nasati helps the mind become con-
centrated more quickly. As the mind concentrates,
breathing becomes shallower. The mind becomes
more and more refined until it stops still at the
center of the body. This is the purpose of
28 Chapter III

The Principle of the Center

The fourth foundation of Vijj±àDhammak±ya
meditation practice is the Principle of the Center.
Luang Phor Wat Paknam discovered that the mind
naturally resides at the center of the body, two
“anguli” (2 middle finger joints) or about two inches
(5 centimeters) above the navel. Only when the mind
is at rest at the body’s center can one penetrate
to the full depths of the Dhamma as it was
revealed to Lord Buddha.
Using the three techniques described, the
meditator first brings the ¾loka-kasiºa sphere to the
center of the body. Then, he or she proceeds to
focus again and again at the “center of the
center” of concentric spheres as they appear. In
this way, the meditator progresses through more
and more refined body-minds to Dhammak±ya and
This combination of techniques applied at the
center of the body can help meditators of all types
to solve their problems and achieve rapid success
in Samadha meditation. It is especially effective
because all three methods are appropriate across a
wide range of psychological tendencies.
The Development of Right Concentration 29

Figure 3: Two “anguli” (2 middle finger joints) or

about two inches (5 centimeters) above the navel

Drawing the Mind Inward

The uncontrolled mind is attracted outward
through sensory contact and flits restlessly from
object to object. Bringing the mind to concentrate
at the center of the body requires considerable
effort. You cannot, however, force the mind. If you
try, it slips away. This is why Vijj±àDhammak±ya
uses the Light Sphere, Samm± Arahang and
¾n±p±nasati to concentrate the mind and make it
30 Chapter III

Coaxing the Mind

Don’t force the mind too much. If you
force it, the sphere goes away. On the other hand,
if your energy is too slack, the sphere will also
disappear and you won’t know where it has gone.
If you feel too eager to see the sphere, you can’t.
It’s gone again.
Mental training is like pressing a ping pong
ball into water. You must have the right balance.
Relax a little. Don’t press too hard. Don’t be
anxious, but don’t be slack or allow sleepiness to
creep in. Just coax the mind. Soothe it evenly and
peacefully. The mind is something you cannot force.
Keep your mind alert at all times. If the
mind wanders away, recognize it immediately. Bring
the mind back as soon as it goes off somewhere.
How do you bring the mind back? Just
visualize the sphere and repeat Samm±àArahang.
The mind will come into the sphere again, that’s all.

The Path to the Center of the Body

Luang Phor Wat Paknam taught a specific
method for beginning meditators to bring the Light
Sphere (¾loka-kasiºa) to the center of the body.
There are seven positions along the way. (See
Figure 4 on page 31). We will study this in detail
The Development of Right Concentration 31

Figure 4:
The Path to the Center of the Body

in Chapter V. Let us, however, summarize the

method here to complete consideration of Samadha
Begin by visualizing the sphere at the nostril
aperture (Position 1), for ladies on the left and for
gentlemen on the right, while mentally reciting the
words Samm±àArahang at least three times to
keep the sphere clear and still.
32 Chapter III

What is the proper size of the sphere?

Whatever you can visualize. About the size of an
eyeball will do. Don’t worry that a larger sphere
couldn’t fit into the nose. All transparent things can
go anywhere. Whatever the starting size, the
sphere will become even larger if the mind stops
Move the sphere from your nostril upwards
into your nose to the eye-socket (Position 2), for
ladies on the left, for gentlemen on the right. Move
it inside the eye-socket, not outside. Focus your
mind at the center of the sphere inside your eye-
socket and mentally recite the words Samm±àArahang,
Samm±àArahang, Samm± Arahang. Then, move the
sphere slowly, keeping your mind at its center by
seeing the transparent spot at the center of the
Slowly move the sphere to the center of
the head (Position 3). Where is the center of the
head? Suppose you have two lines, from the front
to the back and from left to right. The intersection
of those two lines is the center of your head. The
sphere should be in line with your eye-sockets, not
above or below.
After you have mentally recited the words
Samm± Arahang, Samm± Arahang, Samm±àArahang
The Development of Right Concentration 33

to keep the sphere still at the center, move it

downwards slowly to your palate, the ceiling of
your mouth (Position 4). Just visualize that the
sphere can go anywhere. Don’t bite it, just see it.
Repeat the words Samm± Arahang, at least three
times to keep the sphere still.
You may find difficulty in moving the sphere
downwards. That is because your mind is used to
being outside all the time. It is difficult to bring it
inside and it requires some time to train the mind.
If you meditate correctly, you will be able to bring
your mind in. Vijj±àDhammak±ya is one of the
most effective methods for doing this. It may be
difficult for the beginner, but later it becomes
To solve the problem of bringing the mind
with the sphere downwards into the center of the
body, roll your eyeballs upwards a little bit tempo-
rarily. This makes your mind components move
backwards and downwards. Then, focus your atten-
tion at the center of the sphere and move it
downwards, position by position.
Mentally move the bright, clear sphere slowly
and directly downward to rest at the throat aper-
ture (Position 5). Repeat the words Samm± Arahang
to yourself three times to keep the sphere bright
and clear and to hold it steady.
34 Chapter III

Next, move the sphere down to the center

of the body, where the breathing stops, in line with
your navel (Position 6). Repeat the words Samm±
Arahang, Samm± Arahang, Samm±àArahang here,
at least three times, then move the sphere up-
wards two “anguli” (middle finger joints) or about
two inches (five centimeters). This is the final
location (Position 7) where the mind naturally
resides at the center of the body.
This technique for drawing the mind inward
is a preliminary practice. Meditators who can do it
and know where the center of the body is do not
need to move the sphere from starting to final
position every time. They can begin directly at the
center of the body in the seventh position. Those
who find difficulty in moving the mind into the
center of the body will just have to practice
patiently until they can do it well.

The Center of the Body

When the mind stops still at the center of
your body, the psycho-physical elements (Water,
Earth, Fire, Wind, Space, and Consciousness) are
all together at one point (see figure 5). You can
see with your mind the actual Light Sphere or
Paμhama Magga which is your own real nucleus. It
is very bright and luminous.
The Development of Right Concentration 35

Figure 5: The Sphere at the Center of Body

and the Elements

When you see this, forget about all visual-

izations. Forget about reciting the mantra. Just rest
your mind at the center. Then, the center will
expand itself. More and more refined spheres will
appear. Just stop still at the center of the center
of each, until you reach the most refined one.
Then, stop still.
When your mind stops still at the center of
the body you can see your own Dhamma. Why do
I say Dhamma is here and not in the scriptures or
36 Chapter III

elsewhere? Because all practices of body, speech

and mind regarding Right Action, Right Speech, and
Right Thought lead to the mind becoming purer and
purer at the center of the body. This is where the
mind performs its functions. If you meditate at the
center of your body, your mind will become purer
and purer.

Pure Form
Purification of the mind is the purpose of
Mindfulness (Satipaμμh±na). When you see your mind
is impure, you must purify it right away. You do
this by holding it still at the center of the center
until you reach pure dhamma, the purest mind and
body you can attain. This is the Vijj± Dhammak±ya
When your mind is perfectly concentrated at
its most refined and purest state, the center
expands and you can see your own Refined
Human Body (Manussak±ya) at the center of the
sphere within your Crude Human Body. This is the
result of proper meditation. It means your human-
level dhamma is pure and happy.
Then, larger and larger spheres will appear
within the refined human body. As you continue,
The Development of Right Concentration 37

you can reach celestial dhamma and see your own

Celestial Body and mind (Dibbak±ya) which is about
double the size of the human body. As your body
and mind and the elements of the Five Aggregates
become purer and purer you can reach the
Brahman Body (R³pabrahmak±ya) which is about
double the size of the Celestial Body. Next, you
will see the Formless Brahman Body (Ar³pabrahmak±ya)
which is about double the size of the Brahman
Body. Don’t worry about the name; whatever you
see, that’s it.
Don’t be surprised when you see the refined
body becoming larger and larger, very refined, very
beautiful with adornments and very radiant. This is
due to the merit which you have performed.
Proceed to become the more and more refined
bodies and minds, by placing your mind at the
center of the center of each.
When your mind reaches the purest state,
you will see Dhammak±ya. It looks like a transpar-
ent Buddha statue, radiant with a lotus bud upon
the head. The standard height is about nine meters
in width and height. That is the preliminary size.
From then on, subsequent Dhammak±ya will be
larger and larger, and more and more refined. They
become very radiant, and up to forty meters in
height and width. Do not be surprised.
38 Chapter III

You might ask “Why practice according to

this approach in which the meditator sees the body
larger and larger?” If you can see an angel or
Deva, the real Deva or Brahma is even larger.
Don’t be surprised. You can be sure of this. There
exist internal bodies. There are at least eighteen
bodies, each more and more refined, purer and
purer, until the most refined body, the Dhammak±ya.
You will perceive Dhammak±ya when your mind is
at the purest. By stopping still at the center of the
center, you will pass through the spheres of all
mundane bodies (the Manussa, Deva, R³pabrahma
and Ar³pabrahma bodies), until you reach the
supra-mundane body, Dhammak±ya. Then, you have
attained Nibb±na.
Why can you reach Nibb±na during medita-
tion? So long as you purify your mind by stopping
still at the center of the center, your mind will
become purer and purer until it temporarily reaches
the purest. This is temporarily way beyond, or
above, or far away from the passions, due to
meditation. This is called Vikkhambhaºavimutti or
temporary emancipation via suppression. In that
state of mind you can see Nibb±na. You can see
Lord Buddha who exists in Nibb±na. Don’t doubt it.
It is in the scriptures. Lord Buddha said that
The Development of Right Concentration 39

Nibb±na exists as a supra-mundane abode (Ayatana½)

where Lord Buddha and his disciples exist.

Atthi bhikkhave, tad±yatana½ ï...

Monks, there exists the supra-mundane
abode of Nibb±na...
Pataligamiya vagga
Nibb±na Sutta III

Samadha meditation aims at concentration to
remove the Five Hindrances. Lord Buddha taught
forty meditation devices. Vijj± Dhammak±ya utilizes
three of these simultaneously, focused at the
center of the body. They are visualization of the
Light Object (¾loka-kasiºa), repetition of Samm±
Arahang, and Mindfulness of Breathing or ¾n±p±nasati.
Luang Phor Wat Paknam taught how to use these
techniques to bring the mind inward to rest at the
center of the body. Here you can see your own
true nucleus or dhamma where the results of Right
Action, Right Speech and Right Thought can be
observed. Continuing to concentrate and purify your
mind at the center of the center, you can pass
40 Chapter III

through eighteen internal body-minds until you reach

non-compound Dhammak±ya and temporarily attain
Nibb±na. In this state you can see Nibb±na and
Lord Buddha who resides in Nibb±na.
Chapter IV



Vipassan±àpractice aims at development of

Right Wisdom with regard to the Five Hindrances,
Five Aggregates, the Four Noble Truths, and the
twelve links in the Chain of Dependent Origination.
It consists of contemplation of physical body,
feeling, mental functions and phenomena (dhamma).
I have collected the following information
from the scriptures, along with the rendering of the
famous commentator, Acariya Phra Buddha-ghosa,
whom we believe to be a Noble One. His interpre-
tations of Lord Buddha’s Teachings have become
the texts for Pali study in Thailand, from the
elementary to the advanced level. Other materials
presented here are collected from the Vijj± Dhamma-
k±ya teachings of Luang Phor Wat Paknam, the
Most Venerable Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni,
and his disciples.
42 Chapter IV

All of this information I am very sure is

valid and leads directly to the supra-mundane state
of Nibb±na, our ultimate goal in practicing Buddhism.
Some words may be a bit difficult to understand,
especially for beginners in the study of Buddhism.
I will try my best to make them clear by using
simple explanations.
Vipassan±àpractice can be divided into two
levels: mundane Right Understanding of compound
phenomena (Saªkh±ra) 10, which is called Anupassan±
and supra-mundane Right Understanding of non-com-
pound nature (Visaªkh±ra). The first level focuses
on mindfulness of the Five Hindrances to wisdom
and helps develop Right Understanding of the imper-
manence of compound phenomena such as the
Five Aggregates of our body-mind complex. How-
ever, this level cannot remove cravings permanently;
the meditator must proceed to supra-mundane
Vipassan±àpractice to develop Right Understanding
regarding the Four Noble Truths and the Chain of
Dependent Origination (Paμiccasamupp±da).
Vijj±à Dhammak±ya meditation is especially
effective for bringing meditators beyond the mun-
dane to the supra-mundane. In the Vijj± Dhammak±ya
approach, practitioners learn not only by studying,
listening and reading texts, but also by seeing and
The Development of Right Wisdom 43

feeling for themselves. As their minds become purer

and purer, meditators come to see that they have
Dhammak±ya within themselves. This is very effi-
cient as it develops Right Understanding and Right
Wisdom through direct experience as well as
learning from scriptures. It is not just imagination as
some critics suppose.

Anupassan± of Compound Phenomena

Vipassan±àmeditation reveals that all com-
pounds, including the Five Aggregates of the psycho-
physical organism, are impermanent and subject to
change, and that is why they cause suffering for
those who attach to them with craving and
delusion. Finally, Vipassan±àdiscloses that such com-
pounds as your “self” do not exist. All compounds
are “non-self” (Anatt±) 11.
Contemplation of compounds (Anupassan±) is
comprised of four practices: contemplation of the
external and internal physical body (K±y±nupassan±),
contemplation of feeling or sensation (Vedan±nupassan±),
contemplation of mental functions (Citt±nupassan±),
and contemplation of compound phenomena (Dhamm±-
44 Chapter IV

When the meditator has concentrated the

mind at the center of the body, the meditator can
see his or her own real nucleus or Dhamma
Sphere (Paμibh±ga-nimitta) where all practices of
body, speech and mind regarding Right Action, Right
Speech, and Right Thought lead to the mind
becoming purer and purer.

The Five Aggregates (Khandha)

The psycho-physical organism is composed
of the Five Aggregates, the body and four mind
components. The form aggregate or R³pakhandha
consists of the elements of Water, Earth, Fire
(temperature), Wind, Space, and Cognition. The
cognitive element contains the four Mind Aggre-
gates. The crude physical body is the outside
aggregate made up of all these elements.
The four mind components as acts or
spheres are: 12

1. Vedan±: sensing; traditionally: “feeling”; in

Thai: เห็น, vision, “seeing with the mind.”
2. Saññ±: labeling; traditionally: “perception”;
in Thai: จำ, memory, “remembering the
The Development of Right Wisdom 45

3. Saªkh±ra: mental conceiving or con-

structing; traditionally: “karmic form ener-
gies”; in Thai: คิด, thought “thinking.”
4. Viññ±ºa: cognition; traditionally “conscious-
ness”; in Thai: ร,ู knowing or awareness.

These are pure elements in the form of

concentric spheres at the center of the body. With
concentration, each center enlarges itself, emerging
as a sphere. First comes the Sphere of Vision,
then Memory, then Thought, and finally the sphere
of Cognition or Awareness.
By refraining from bad conduct and perform-
ing good deeds or wholesome acts, and by
purifying your mind through meditation, the mind will
become purer and purer. The Five Aggregates and
their elements become purer and purer. The sphere
you see becomes pure, transparent, bright and
refined. You can be sure that your mind, together
with your body, or all elements of the Five
Aggregates are also pure and refined. The purer
your mind becomes, the more you will receive
good results in the form of happiness and well-
being. But, if you perform bad deeds and do not
purify your mind, then the five elements of mind
and form (N±ma-r³pa) become impure. The sphere
becomes cloudy and impure with passions which
will cause you troubles in life and unhappiness.
46 Chapter IV

This is what Lord Buddha taught, the con-

templation of dhamma. Dhamma is located at the
center of your body. Mindfulness through contempla-
tion of dhamma purifies the mind and the Five
Aggregates. This leads to more and more refined
mental states, revealing more and more refined
body-minds. This is what happens when you keep
your mind still at the center of the center. So long
as your mind is pure, how can you do anything

Characteristics of Compounds
When you purify your mind beyond Ar³pa-
brahma, you will reach Dhammak±ya, the purest
state of mind. Dhammak±ya is non-compound. From
here you can see clearly that all bodies at any
level below this are compounds composed of the
Five Aggregates. They are all subject to change
and one who attaches to them will suffer because
compounds do not last forever. Realization of this
is the purpose of mundane Vipassan±àmeditation
(Anupassan±). The meditator develops Right Wisdom
about the three common characteristics of com-
pound things. You learn:

Sabbe saªkh±r± anicc±àà

All compounds are impermanent.
The Development of Right Wisdom 47

Sabbe saªkh±r±àdukkh±à
All compounds cause suffering.

Sabbe dhamm±àanatt±à
All compounds are non-self.

Vipassan± of Non-Compound Nature

Non-compound nature, however, is not de-
scribed by these three characteristics. When one
meditates, he or she becomes more and more
refined, purer and purer, until the purest Dhammak±ya
state of mind is reached. Then one can experience
and see Nibb±na for oneself. In Nibb±na you can
see the Enlightened Dhammak±ya of Lord Buddha.
Those who have attained the Dhammak±ya level
can see both compound and non-compound nature.
Nibb±na, the supra-mundane sphere is permanent,
supreme happiness, existing forever without change.

Higher Dhamma
Let us consider contemplation at the supra-
mundane level in greater detail. At this level the
practitioner contemplates higher-level Dhamma: The
Five Aggregates (Pañcakhandha), the Four Noble
Truths (Ariyasacca), Dependent Origination (Paμicca-
samupp±da), the Twelve Bases of Cognition of the
48 Chapter IV

six sense organs, the Eighteen Elements (Dh±tu)

and the Twenty-two Potential Faculties (Indriya).
In this state of mind, we aim at removal of
ignorance, the root cause of suffering, by analyzing
the Twelve Links in the Chain of Dependent
Origination. From ignorance originates impression,
impression originates consciousness, consciousness
originates the psycho-physical organism (N±ma-r³pa),
the psycho-physical organism originates the six
sense organs, the six sense organs originate
contact, feeling, craving, attachment, rebirth and
suffering due to old age, sickness, and death.
Supra-mundane Vipassan±àMeditation also in-
volves contemplation of the external physical body
as well as all its internal parts. We find, in reality,
that all the parts of the body are impure; not even
a single part is pure.

The Four Noble Truths

Then, Supra-mundane Vipassan±àMeditation
proceeds to help develop higher levels of Right
Understanding of the Four Noble Truths, especially
about suffering. One who attains Dhammak±ya can
visualize the sphere of suffering at the center of
the body for each person or other creature. The
The Development of Right Wisdom 49

sphere of suffering contains the sphere of old age,

the sphere of sickness, and the sphere of death.
For example, when a person is going to die, his
or her sphere of death will appear at the center
of the sphere of the human body. When the
sphere of the human body separates from the
sphere of the celestial body, the person dies. This
is the way to learn deeply about suffering within
one’s own self or suffering within other people.
As practitioners develop to higher supra-
mundane levels, they come to understand the Four
Noble Truths, attachment to the Five Aggregates,
and Dependent Origination. Subsequently, the medi-
tator will also develop the Seven Enlightenment
Factors. All these realizations develop along the
Noble Eightfold Path. When the Noble Eightfold Path
is followed perfectly at that level, the practitioner
can cut all fetters to worldly objects and become
a Noble One.

Right Understanding
All these aspects of Right Understanding
help practitioners to calm their minds and remove
the passions of hatred, ill will, sensual desire, greed
and delusion; especially excessive desires. They
come to understand that the more one is attached
50 Chapter IV

to any compound with craving and delusion, the

more suffering they will have. Thus, they learn how
to make the mind neutral and peaceful. This supra-
mundane level of meditation can effectively cut
fetters, reduce or remove passions, and lighten
attachment to this world.

Supernormal Vision and Hearing

The Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach is very
efficient in developing Right Understanding. When
you sit in meditation and concentrate by keeping
your mind still at the center of your body, your
mind becomes purer and purer until you attain more
and more refined bodies. Eventually you will reach
the purest state of mind, Dhammak±ya. Then you
will be able to see clearly with your inner vision
that all of the mundane bodies from the human
(Manussak±ya) up through the more and more
refined bodies such as the celestial (Dibbak±ya),
Brahman (R³pabrahmak±ya) and Formless Brahman
(Ar³pabrahmak±ya) are impermanent, subject to change,
and non-self.
Vijj±àDhammak±ya meditation develops the
faculties of supernormal vision and hearing. You can
come to see the whole mundane world, starting
from the Sensual World (K±maloka) to the World
The Development of Right Wisdom 51

of Pure Form (R³pabrahmaloka) and the Formless

World (Ar³pabrahmaloka). You can see the hells
and the celestial worlds whenever you like. Through
meditation you come to see how all worldly
creatures suffer. They suffer in the suffering worlds
because of their own unwholesome Kamma. Some
experience happiness in the happy worlds due to
their wholesome Kamma, for limited periods.
Supernormal vision and hearing are very
helpful for development of supernormal recollection
of former existences. Those who have attained the
Dhammak±ya level can also understand rebirth and
the passing away of beings. They develop the
supernormal knowledge to see former existences of
themselves and of other mundane creatures, as
well as to see the future or results of Kamma.

The Law of Karma

You can also attain supernormal knowledge
of cause and effect, the Natural Law of Kamma.
You can see with your supernormal vision that
whoever performs good (Kusala) actions will be
reborn in a happy world. In contrast, those who
commit bad or unwholesome (Akusala) actions will
be reborn into suffering worlds such as hells or as
52 Chapter IV

animals or ghosts. You come to know that until

they overcome their ignorance, all mundane crea-
tures will be reborn in either happy or suffering
worlds, according to the nature of their constantly
changing Kamma. Mundane existence is imperma-
nent, changing endlessly, sometimes happy and
sometimes sad. After seeing all these facets of
nature, you will understand.
The meditator can see the effects of
Kamma directly. Those who commit unwholesome
acts and violate precepts of morality regularly will
see their refined bodies, especially their refined
human body, become impure and look unhappy. On
the other hand, those who perform good, whole-
some (Kusala) conduct will have pure refined human
bodies and more and more refined bodies, accord-
ing to the quality of their daily actions. As their
minds become purer and purer, they can attain
Dhammak±ya and see their Dhammak±ya within.

Dependent Origination
When we analyze Dependent Origination at
the supra-mundane level, we learn that ignorance
causes craving which leads to attachment and
eventually to rebirth. From ignorance comes craving
along with bad conduct, bad speech and bad
The Development of Right Wisdom 53

thoughts. These, in turn, cause attachment and

rebirth. This is the Chain of Dependent Origination.
Its nature can be understood through meditation
according to the Vijj± Dhammak±ya approach up to
the Dhammak±ya level.

Seeing and Experiencing Directly

Thus, in the Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach,
we know not only by studying, listening and
reading, but also by seeing directly for ourselves.
This is very efficient. It develops Right Understand-
ing by seeing and feeling as well as learning from
the scriptures. It is based on experience, not
If you follow the right method, you can see
whatever you want to see. For example, to
develop higher-level Right Understanding about the
Extinction of Suffering (the Third Noble Truth),
practitioners can stop still at the exact center of
purer and purer bodies. The mind becomes purer
and more refined, with purer and purer Dhamma.
When meditators reach Dhammak±ya, they can
continue purifying themselves by stopping still at the
centers of the Dhammak±ya. More and more
refined, purer and purer Dhammak±ya will appear
until they become non-compound in nature. That is
the way one purifies one’s mind.
54 Chapter IV

This approach leads one to Extinction of the

Cause of Suffering. As meditators purify themselves
by becoming more and more refined bodies, feel-
ings, minds and dhamma, they become mindful of
the dhamma, hence becoming even purer and purer
dhamma. Eventually, they can attain to the state of
non-compound nature.This is Nirodha or the Extinc-
tion of Suffering by experience, not just thinking
about it or imagining it. Practitioners can purify their
minds in this manner until they remove all fetters
entirely. This is the most efficient meditation –
seeing and feeling as well as learning from the

Right Wisdom
Pursuing the Noble Eightfold Path via this
Vipassan± practice while maintaining Right Concen-
tration at all times develops higher and higher
levels of Right Wisdom from mundane to supra-
mundane levels. Right Concentration of mind is
easily achieved by the Vijj± Dhammak±ya approach
because it starts with concentration on a device or
object such as the Light Object (¾loka-kasiºa).
The Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach also includes Mind-
fulness of Breathing (¾n±p±nasati) and Recollection
of Lord Buddha’s Virtues (Buddh±nussati). These
The Development of Right Wisdom 55

are helpful for calming the mind and concentrating

the mind at “one-pointedness.” Thus, Vijj±àDhammak±ya
provides an efficient and effective method for both
concentrating the mind and contemplation to de-
velop Right Wisdom. This is what I have learned
both from my own experience and that of my
The Path may be difficult; for some, very
difficult, because the Dhammak±ya sphere is not
attained easily. But, for sure, this is the most
efficient way to concentrate your mind, especially
for those who can develop into Dhammak±ya. To
develop Right Concentration, we must be sure of
the way. We must develop meditation to the first
state of absorption (Paμhama-jh±na). People who
cannot reach this level cannot cut the fetters. They
don’t have sufficient attainment of the Noble Path
which includes Right Concentration of mind. Any
method that helps to develop jh±na or absorption
levels is good. The fetters must be cut before
complete removal is possible.

Natthi jh±na½ÿapaññassa,
Natthi pañña ajh±yino, yamhi jh±nañca
Paññ± ca, sa ve Nibb±na santike
56 Chapter IV

Without absorption there is no wisdom,

Without wisdom there is no absorption,
He who has both absorption and wis-
dom is near to Nibb±na. 13

In order to remove ignorance, which is the

root cause of suffering, one needs to understand
what ignorance is. Ignorance is lack of knowledge
of the past and future, lack of knowledge of the
Noble Path, and lack of knowledge of Dependent
Origination. Because of this ignorance, one has
cravings and attachments and commits bad conduct
or akusala kamma that brings unfortunate results,
leading to rebirth in the suffering world.
Meditation at the supra-mundane level can
help develop Seven Enlightenment Factors: mindful-
ness, analysis of phenomena (dhamma), energy, joy,
tranquility, concentration of mind, and equanimity.
The Seven Enlightenment Factors develop automati-
cally along the Noble Eightfold Path. Through the
Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach, the Seven Enlighten-
ment Factors can be developed more easily. This
does not mean that I am already Enlightened; I am
studying too. I have learned this from the teachings
of Luang Phor Wat Paknam, my own experience,
The Development of Right Wisdom 57

from and a little bit from others, as well as from

the Pali Scriptures.
By the Vijj± Dhammak±ya approach, one
can develop supernormal recollection of past exist-
ences and see the future, especially cause and
effect or the Natural Law of Kamma. This practice
enables one to understand clearly the characteris-
tics of compounds as well as the characteristics of
the non-compound, which you rarely hear about
elsewhere. Your understanding will become deeper
and deeper, with higher and higher Right Wisdom.
This can efficiently remove ignorance.

Noble Disciple States

Anyone who can cut at least the first three
Fetters (Sa½yojana) will become a Stream Enterer
Noble Disciple. They are false self concept and
wrong view about compounds (Sakk±yadiμμhi), doubt
about Dhamma Practice (Vicikicch±), and reliance on
wrong religious practices (S²labbatapar±m±sa). As a
result of eradicating these three fetters, one will
truly understand the real nature of all compounds
and hence not be bewildered by them. The
practitioner will attain full confidence about the Path
that leads to Emancipation (Nibb±na) and will no
58 Chapter IV

longer cling to mere rules and rituals (including

superstitions and wrong practices for attaining Nibb±na).
When these three fetters are removed, one be-
comes a Noble Disciple of the first stage (Sot±panna).
The Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach provides
very high levels of understanding, especially about
the non-compound (Nibb±na). The approach appears
in the scriptures, but is often overlooked 7&14. When
you practice according to the Vijj± Dhammak±ya
approach, you will come to understand that the
words Sabbe dhamm± anatt± or “all compounds
(conditioned phenomena) are non-self”, do not in-
clude the non-compound (unconditioned phenomena)
like Nibb±na. Others may say that they do include
the non-compound or Nibb±na. In fact, this is not
true. We will now examine relevant references from
the scriptures. You will see that Nibb±na is non-
compound in nature both according to the scrip-
tures and according to verification by meditation,
especially via the Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach.

Right Understanding of Nibb±na

Right Understanding of Nibb±na can be viewed
from three perspectives: (1) Nibb±na as a condition,
(2) Nibb±na as the possessor of the condition,
(3) Nibb±na and as a supra-mundane sphere.
The Development of Right Wisdom 59

1. Nibb±na as a Condition
Lord Buddha describes Nibb±na as non-
compound in Nibb±na Sutta III:
Atthi bhikkhave, aj±ta½ÿabh³ta½ÿ
asaªkhata½, no ce ta½, bhikkhave,
abhavissa, aj±ta½ÿabh³ta½ÿ...
Monks, there exists unborn, unchanging,
unmade, non-compound nature. If it
were not for this unborn, unchanging,
unmade, non-compound nature, an
escape from here would not be
But, monks, since there is the unborn,
unchanging, unmade, non-compound
nature, therefore an escape from the
born, changing, made compound nature
is known.
Monks, this unborn nature is the only
way to Release (Vimutti) and to
become a Noble Disciple oneself and
ultimately to attain Enlightenment;
Elsewhere in the scriptures, Lord Buddha
describes four basic characteristics of Nibb±na
as a condition:
60 Chapter IV

1.1 Nibb±na is void of defilements of any kind

Lord Buddha said this in Suttapiμaka,
Khuddaka-Nik±ya Dhammapada Arahanta-Vagga.
This doesn’t imply that Nibb±na does not exist,
but only says that Nibb±na is void of defile-
ments of all kinds. Lord Buddha refers to this as
Suññata-vimokkha. This means that it is free
from all defilements such as sensual desire,
hatred, and delusion. But, it exists.

1.2 Nibb±na is permanent

In Suttapiμaka, Khuddaka-Nik±ya, Itivuttaka,
Lord Buddha describes Nibb±na as dhammas±ra½,
meaning “very essential” or “very pure” and nicca½,
meaning “permanent.”

1.3 Nibb±na is not subject to change

Lord Buddha says in Dhammapad±μμhakath±,
Arahanta-Vagga, Vaººan±àS±r²putta Section, and
elsewhere, that Nibb±na exists forever and does
not pass away, since there is no more death and
rebirth. He describes it as dhuva½ which means
“existing forever” and t±di which means “perma-
nent,” stable or constant.
The Development of Right Wisdom 61

1.4 Nibb±na is supreme happiness

Lord Buddha says specifically in the
Suttapiμaka, Khuddaka-Nik±ya, Dhammapada, Sukha-
Vagga, Aññatara Up±saka section: “Nibb±na½
parama½ÿsukha½, or Nibb±na is supreme happi-
In summary, Nibb±na is a condition ac-
cording to Lord Buddha’s Teaching. It is existing
void of defilements, permanent, not subject to
change, and in supreme happiness. By the Vijj±
Dhammak±ya approach one comes to experi-
ence these conditions.

2. Nibb±na as Possessor of the Condition

Another aspect of Nibb±na pertains to the
possessor of the Nibb±na condition. Since Nibb±na
does exist, is permanent, and does not change,
can these Five Aggregates possess the Nibb±na
condition? No. There must be something else that
is non-compound and of the purest nature to
manifest the state of Nibb±na. Then, what is that?
This is what we call Dhammak±ya. Dhammak±ya is
not a new concept. It is referred to repeatedly
throughout the scriptures. We shall cite a few of
the most important references.
62 Chapter IV

Lord Buddha said in the Suttantapiμaka,

D²gha Nik±ya, P±tika-vagga, Aggañña-Sutta:
Tath±gatassa heta½ v±seμμh± adhivacanam
Dhammak±yo itipi, Brahmak±yo itipi,
Dhammabh³to itipi, Brahmabh³to itipi.

This means Dhammak±ya or Brahmak±ya is

my name. I am Dhammak±ya (the purest, non-
compound essence).
Dhammak±yo means an amassing, develop-
ing, growing, maturing, aggregation, or becoming
(kayo) of the purest Virtue and Truth (Dhamma).
Dhammabh³to means the purest of the pure, or the
purest essence. Brahmak±yo means of supreme
quality, not subject to change, and supremely
blissful. This is why Lord Buddha is called Dhammak±yo
and Brahmabh³to. These words refer to purity at
its highest, not only for Lord Buddha’s virtues, but
also for the virtues of Buddha’s disciples. When the
scriptures mention Dhammak±ya they also mean
The following quotation from the Agañña
Sutta translates Dhammak±ya literally as “Truth-
embodiment” or “Virtue Embodiment.” It applies the
term to a follower whose faith in Lord Buddha’s
The Development of Right Wisdom 63

teachings is so strong that he can be called a

son of the Exalted or heir to the Dhamma.
You, Vasettha, who, differing
all of you in name, in clan and
family, have gone forth from home
into the homeless life may be asked:
Who are ye? Then do ye reply: We
be Samanas who follow him of the
sons of the Sakiyans.
He, Vasettha, whose faith in
Tath±-gata is settled, rooted, estab-
lished and firm, a faith not to be
dragged down by recluse or brahman,
or by deva or M±ra or Brahma or
anyone in the world, well may he
say: I am a veritable son of the
Exalted. One, born from his mouth,
born of Truth and Virtue (Dhamma),
created by Truth and Virtue, heir to
Truth and Virtue. And why? Because,
Vasettha, these are names tanta-
mount to Tath±gata, belonging to
Truth and Virtue, and again, belonging
to the highest, and again, one with
Truth and Virtue, and again, one with
the Highest or Ultimate. 15
64 Chapter IV

Dhammak±yo translates literally as having

a Truth-body or embodying Virtue. Buddhaghosa
says: Why is the Tath±gato said to have a
Truth-body or Virtue-body? Because, having de-
vised the Three-Piμaka-Buddha-Word with his mind,
he practiced it in his speech and action. There-
fore, he embodied Truth and Virtue (Dhammat±)
and was considered as Truth and Virtue. He is
called Dhammak±yo because of this embodiment
of Truth and Virtue. He is also said to have
brahma (supreme) body, because Truth and Virtue
are also called brahma in the sense of being
the best, supreme, ultimate, or most excellent.
According to the commentary, brahma is
used in the sense of the best (Seμμhatthena). Also,
“Truth-embodiment” is literally “Truth-essence” or “of
the nature-of-Truth and Virtue” (Dhamma-sabh±vo).
In brief, “Truth-body” is Dhammak±ya.
Another reference, Suttapiμaka Khuddaka-Nik±ya
Sarabhaªga Thera, stanza 365, states that all
Buddhas, not only Sakyamuni Buddha, but all the
former Buddhas as well, were Dhammak±ya. He
who follows Lord Buddha’s Teachings diligently also
becomes a Dhammak±ya.
This is also indicated in the Verses of the
Elders, I Therag±tha, page 50:
The Development of Right Wisdom 65

I, Sarabhanga, did not previ-

ously see the whole complete dis-
ease; this disease has (now) been
seen by (me) doing the bidding of the
one above the devas.
By the very road by which
Vipass² went, by the very road by
which (went) Sikh², Vessabh³ , Kaku-
sandha, Kon±gamana, and Kassapa,
by that straight path went Gotama.
The seven Buddhas are rid of
craving, without grasping, plunging into
annihilation, by whom, having become
righteousness, venerable, this doctrine
was taught.

In Suttapiμaka, Khuddaka-Nik±ya, Apad±na

Ekupasathavakka, Mah±paj±pat² ãGotam² Theriya-
pad±na, when Prince Siddhattha’s mother passed
away, his foster mother Mahapajapati Gotami nursed
him as a young prince. Later, she became a
bhikkhun² ãor nun and subsequently became Enlight-
ened. One day, she wanted to say farewell to
Lord Buddha, for she knew that she was going to
die soon. She said to Lord Buddha:
66 Chapter IV

“My Dhammak±ya is the

Dhamma that you helped me real-

Since she had nursed Prince Siddhatta

and he had helped her realize the Dhamma,
neither had to pay back the debt of kamma to
the other. When she said “My Dhammak±ya is
the Dhamma you helped me to realize within
me”, it means that the word Noble One or “I”
am Dhammak±ya.
There are more references, but it would
take quite a long time to relate all of them.

3. Nibb±na as a Supra-mundane Sphere

Finally, I would like to mention another
aspect of Nibb±na, Nibb±na as the supra-mundane
sphere where the Dhammak±ya of Lord Buddha
and other Noble Ones exist. From the Minor
Anthologies of the Pali Canon, Part II, Ud±na:
Verses of Uplift, Chapter VIII P±taligamiya, Nibb±na
Sutta I.
Monks, there exists that condi-
tion (Nibb±na) wherein there is neither
earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air;
The Development of Right Wisdom 67

wherein there is neither the sphere

of infinite space nor the sphere of
infinite consciousness, nor the sphere
of nothingness, nor the sphere of
ness. There is neither this world nor
a world beyond, nor both together;
neither moon nor sun. Here, monks,
I declare there is no coming to birth
and no going (from life). Therein is
no duration, no falling and no upris-
ing. This is not something fixed, but
it moves not on. It is not based on
anything. This indeed is the end of
Nibb±na cannot be made an object of
thought or sense, it is unimaginable. As said by
Lord Buddha in Nibb±na Sutta II:
Hard is the infinite to fathom; truth is
no easy thing to see. Craving is pierced by
the one who knows. For him who seeth,
naught remains.
68 Chapter IV

By practicing according to the Vijj± Dhamma-

k±ya method, the meditator can come to know
Nibb±na for himself.

Vipassan±àPractice aims at Right Wisdom
regarding the Five Hindrances, Five Aggregates,
Four Noble Truths and Chain of Dependent Origina-
tion. It consists of contemplation of the body,
feelings, mental functions and phenomena (dhamma).
Vipassan±àPractice can be divided into two
levels: Anupassan± Right Understanding of com-
pound phenomena (Saªkh±ra) and transcendent, su-
pra-mundane Vipas-san± contemplation of the non-
compound (Visaªkh±ra) which is Dhammak±ya or
Nibb±na. Vijj± Dhammak±ya is especially effective
in helping meditators to know the non-compound
directly through their own experience.
In conclusion, meditation by the Vijj± Dhamma-
k±ya approach involves both concentration (Samadha)
and insight (Vipassan±). It leads to Right Wisdom
through direct learning, knowing, seeing and feeling,
that is, through personal experience. Both mundane
Right Understanding and supra-mundane Right Wis-
dom can be attained. Vijj± Dhammak±ya Samadha
The Development of Right Wisdom 69

concentration on the crystal light sphere (¾loka-

kasiºa) is one of the most efficient methods to
tranquilize the mind. It helps the mind components
to become easily one-pointed and can help develop
supernormal knowledge such as recollection of
former existences and direct experience of kamma
at work. Intuitive understanding of the twelve-fold
Chain of Dependent Origination efficiently helps to
remove ignorance, the root cause of suffering.
Some may encounter difficulty in practice.
Be assured that this is the most efficient way and
leads directly to Nibb±na. Just continue practicing
until you reach the ultimate goal. May your life be
free from suffering and problems forever.

Chapter V


It is not easy to attain the finer states of

life, but it is also not so difficult as to be
impossible. It requires peace of mind. Never become
emotional or get agitated about anything. That is
counter to good concentration of mind. You have
to be cool and peaceful. Something good like
Dhamma is high level. It always appears with the
peaceful person, situation, and mind, never with a
disturbed mind. The good things, the best things in
life, will always come to the peaceful-minded per-
son. If you cannot understand this, just let it pass
for the moment. Listen to the rest of the instruc-
tions and do what you can.
72 Chapter V

Basic Meditation Practice

Please sit in a regular meditation posture,
cross-legged as seen in some images of the
Buddha, with the right leg resting upon the left
(Figure 6). The right hand rests on the left, palms
turned upwards, right index finger just touching the
left thumb. The body is upright and the mind fully
alert. Take a deep breath and relax the body until
you feel comfortable. Close your eyelids lightly, do
not press them.
In Samadha Vipassan± pracitce, two aids
are used:
• The repetitive word (Parikamma-bh±van±)
• The object of visualization (Parikamma-
The repetitive word is “Samm±àArahang”
and the object of visualization is a bright, clear,
luminous sphere (Figure 7). Using these aids, we
shall draw the mind inward along the path to the
center of the body. Such concentration allows the
mind components16 of vision, memory, thought and
awareness to come together into one-pointedness
or Ekaggat±ramaºa
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 73

Figure 6: The Meditation Posture

Figure 7: The Object of Visualization

74 Chapter V

Position 1: The Nostril Aperture

Concentrate with your mind and visualize
until there exists a vision of a bright and clear
sphere. Let the sphere appear at your nostril, for
ladies at the left nostril and for gentlemen at the
right nostril. Fix your attention and rest your mind
at the center of the sphere. This is a very bright
and clear spot, the size of a grain of sand or
needle point. Repeat the words “Samm± Arahang”
mentally three times to sustain the bright and clear
sphere at the nostril. This is the first position at
which your mind is focused.

Position 2: The Eye Socket

Next, mentally move the bright, clear sphere
slowly up to rest at the eye socket – ladies to
your left eye socket and gentlemen to your right
eye socket. While you are slowly moving the
sphere with your mind, fix your attention always at
the small bright center of the sphere. As the
sphere rests at your eye socket, repeat mentally
the words “Samm± Arahang” three times. This is
the second position.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 75

Figure 8: The Nostril Aperture

Figure 9: The Eye Socket

76 Chapter V

Position 3: The Center of the Head

Mentally shift the sphere slowly to rest at
the center of your head in line with the eyes.
Keep the mind constantly fixed at the bright center
of the luminous sphere. Repeat to yourself the
words “Samm±àArahang” three times to keep the
sphere as bright and clear as you can, so that it
shines and remains in that position. This is the third

Position 4: The Palate Terminus

Roll your eye-balls upward without lifting your
head, so that your vision will turn back and inside.
Meanwhile, mentally move the luminous and trans-
parent sphere slowly and directly downward toward
the palate. Recite to yourself the words “Samm±
Arahang” three times, to make the sphere even
brighter and clearer, and hold it there. This is the
fourth position.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 77

Figure 10: The Center of the Head

Figure 11: The Palate Terminus

78 Chapter V

Position 5: The Throat Aperture

Mentally move the bright, clear sphere slowly
and directly downward to rest at the throat
aperture. Repeat the words “Samm± Arahang” to
yourself three times, to keep the sphere bright and
clear and hold it steady. This is the fifth position.

Position 6: Center of the Body

Next, slowly move the clear, luminous sphere
directly downward, while keeping your attention
focused on the bright nucleus at its center. Bring
the sphere to rest at the center of the body,
where the breath ends, even with the navel. This
is the sixth position. Mentally recite the words
“Samm± Arahang” three times to keep the trans-
parent sphere bright and luminous, and to hold it
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 79

Figure 12: The Throat Aperture

Figure 13: The Center of the Body

80 Chapter V

Position 7: Position of Sphere

Now, shift the sphere directly upward two
“Aguli” or two middle finger joints above the navel.
This is the center of the body and the seventh
position. This is the mind’s permanent resting place.
Whenever a person or any other creature is born,
dies, sleeps or wakens, the Dhamma Sphere which
governs the body arises from this position. The
Dhamma Sphere is composed of the Vision Sphere,
the Memory Sphere, the Thought Sphere, and the
Cognition Sphere. (See Endnote # 15). During medi-
tation, the Dhamma Sphere appears to float from
the sixth position up to the seventh position. The
seventh position is also considered to be the
center of the body.
Keep the bright, clear sphere resting at the
center of the body in the seventh position. Mentally
recite the words “Samm±àArahang” continuously to
keep the sphere still and make it become brighter
and clearer. Concentrate so that the sphere shines
continuously. Focus your mind at the bright center
of the sphere, and at the bright center of each
successive sphere that emerges.
Pay no attention to any external sensation.
Let your mind delve deeper and deeper into the
successive centers as you recite “Samm± Arahang”,
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 81

Two Inches above

the Navel

Figure 14: The Position of Sphere

the Parikamma-bh±van±. Even if ants are climbing

all over you or mosquitoes are flying all around,
pay no heed. Don’t even pay attention to following
the breath.
Bring your mind to rest at the center of the
center, by envisioning a bright sphere. Your mind
should rest steadily and continuously at the center
of the sphere. Do not force the mind too strongly.
Over exerting the mind will cause a shift in your
meditation and the mind will not be able to see.
82 Chapter V

Do not use your physical eyes to focus on

the vision. The practice is only for your mind.
Gently train your mind to see a bright, clear,
steady sphere. Mentally observe and focus on the
bright clear center. Concentrate on the center of
each consecutive sphere that emerges from the
preceding one. Do not wander to the left, right,
front, rear, top or bottom. Always focus on the
center of each new sphere which emerges from
the bright shining center. Rest the mind there.

Paμhama Magga Sphere

As the mind components of Vision, Memory,
Thought and Cognition are drawn into oneness,
they come to rest at the same center of the
body. The meditator will notice a gradual decrease
in response to external sensations. With proper
concentration, the mind will then fall back to the
sixth position. Then, a bright, clear sphere will
emerge at the seventh position. The sphere may
be the size of an egg yolk.
Smaller ones may look like a star in the
sky. Large spheres may be as big as the sun or
the moon. This is the sphere of Paμhama-magga,
the preliminary sign of concentration. It is the first
step towards the Path (Magga), the Fruit (Phala),
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 83

and Nibb±na. This is also known as the Dhamma

Sphere, which makes the human body possible.
When this luminous and clear sphere ap-
pears, do not be overjoyed or overreact. If you
do, the concentration (Sam±dhi) could loosen and
the sphere might disappear. Keep your mind evenly
calm in equanimity (Upekkh±). Hold the mind still,
without repeating the Parikamma-bh±van± (“Samm±
Arahang”). Once the sphere of Paμhama-magga is
perceived, there is no need to continue this mental

Figure 15:
The Sphere at the Center of the Body
and the Elements
84 Chapter V

Concentrate the mind at the small, luminous,

clear center of the Paμhama-magga sphere. Five
smaller spheres will appear within this sphere. One
is concentric at the center. The others are in front,
at the right, left, and behind, respectively (Figure
These small spheres are the refined centers
of the basic elements. In front is the Water
Element, controlling fluids in bodily functions. To the
right is the Earth Element, controlling solid parts. To
the back lies the Fire Element dealing with the
body’s temperature and heat. To the left is the
Wind Element, controlling internal movements of
gases. At the center is the Space Element,
controlling the various gaps within the body. In the
center of the Space Element is the Cognitive
Element or Viññ±ºadh±tu which controls conscious-
ness. Four thin bright, clear lines connect each of
the circumferential spheres to the central sphere.
The Paμhama-magga Sphere will appear as
reflecting the physical, verbal and mental purification
of the meditator. When the mind is at rest,
concentrated at the seventh position, it allows all
six refined elements to come into unison at this
seventh position, the center, where the original
Dh±tu-dhamma was generated.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 85

Adhicitta Spheres
Once this Paμhama-magga sphere can be
observed, concentrate further at the center of the
clear, luminous sphere. When the mind is still and
in the right mode, the center will expand, giving rise
in its place to a new, more luminous, clear and
refined sphere of moral conduct (S²la). Through this
sphere, we can refine physical, verbal and mental
deeds more efficiently and on a deeper level than
through common morality. This is the pure S²la of
meditation (Kammaμμh±na) and can be regarded as
Adhis²la or higher (purer) morality. When the mind
can remain permanently in the center of this S²la
Sphere, the physical, verbal and mental activities
and their intentions will always be clean and pure.
Higher Morality (Adhis²la) goes together with Higher
Mind (Adhicitta), and can lead to Higher Wisdom
(Adhipaññ±), Emancipation (Vimutti), and Insight (Vimutti-
ñ±ºadassana) or the vision of truth from Emanci-
As the mind stays at rest, still and concen-
trated further into the center of the sphere of S²la,
and in the right mode, the center of the sphere will
keep on expanding and in its place will appear a
new, more luminous, clear and refined sphere of
Sam±dhi. This further refines physical, verbal and
mental activities. When the mind rests still and
86 Chapter V

deep in Sam±dhi at this stage, it will overcome the

Five Hindrances to clear comprehension: (1) sleepi-
ness or laziness (Th²na-middha), (2) doubt or
anxiety about the practice (Vicikicch±), (3) ill will or
malice (By±p±da), (4) restlessness of mind, day
dreaming or distraction (Uddhacca-kukkucca), and
(5) sensual desire, enchantment or lust for life
(K±machanda). This is the commencement of the
first state of absorption (Paμhama-jh±na). The mind
is now gentle enough for insight practice (Vipassan±)
to develop the wisdom (Paññ±) to know correctly
and clearly the Truth of Dhamma (Reality). Hence,
it is called the Adhicitta or higher mind.
Concentrate further and rest still at the
center of the center of the Sphere of Sam±dhi
(Concentration). With the mind at rest, still, and in
the right mode, the previous center will expand and
a new, more luminous, clear Sphere of Paññ±
(Wisdom) will appear in its place.
Similarly, with the mind resting still and
concentrated at the center of the Paññ± Sphere,
the Sphere of Vimutti (Transcendence or Emancipa-
tion) emerges. Let the mind adhere to the center
of the Vimutti Sphere, keeping it always luminous
and clear. This will destroy the crude desires
belonging to human beings such as greed, ven-
geance and wrong point-of-view.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 87

Hold your mind at rest in the center of the

center of the Vimutti Sphere. When the mind is in
the right mode, the Sphere of Vimutti-ѱºadassana
(the view from transcendence or “Insight”) will

Refined Bodies
Concentrate the mind further, resting still at
the center of the center of the Insight (Vimutti-
ѱºadassana) Sphere. With the right mode of mind,
the center will expand and a Refined Human Form
or Pan²ta-Manussak±ya will emerge from this center
(Figure 16b on page 88). The Refined Human Form
appears identical to the meditator, but is finer than
the ordinary form. It sits in the regular meditation
posture, facing the same direction as the medita-
tor. 17 In some cases, a clear crystal Buddha
appears with a crown of budding lotus. The Buddha
is beautiful, pure and perfect. This is Dhammak±ya.
Whatever refined form (pan²ta-k±ya) is ob-
served, concentrate with all your mind to assume
or become this form (k±ya). As the centers of all
k±ya are concentric, the mind is now right at the
center of the new k±ya. Concentrate until both the
sphere and the k±ya are bright and clear. The
mind now rests still at the center of the nucleus
88 Chapter V

Figure 16a: Manussak±ya Figure 16b: Pan²ta Manussak±ya

Crude Human Body Refined Human Body

Figure 16c: Dibbak±ya Figure Figure 16d: Pan²ta Dibbak±ya

Crude Celestial Body Refined Celestial Body
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 89

Figure 16e: R³pabrahmak±ya 16f: Pan²ta R³pabrahmak±ya

Crude Form Brahman Body Refined Form Brahman Body

Figure 16g: Ar³pabrahmak±ya 16h: Pan²ta Ar³pabrahmak±ya

Crude Formless Brahman Body Refined Formless Brahman Body
90 Chapter V

of the new sphere, so that it is all bright and

clear. As new spheres are observed, proceed in
the same manner as before through the new
spheres of S²la, Sam±dhi, Paññ±, Vimutti, and
The mind now rests still at the center of
the small bright nucleus of the Insight Sphere
(Vimutti-ѱºadassana). Then, the nucleus will expand
and a new refined form (pan²ta-k±ya) will be
observed. The Celestial Body (Dibbak±ya) arises
(Figure 16c). When the Refined Celestial Body,
Pan²ta-Dibbak±ya (Figure 16d) arises, detach all your
feeling from the present body to assume or
become the newly refined one. Concentrate all your
attention at the center until the spheres of Dhamma,
S²la, Sam±dhi, Paññ±, Vimutti, and Vimutti-ѱºadassana
are observed successively.
Continue to repeat the same procedure for
further mental purification through subsequent spheres
and bodies (k±ya). Whenever there arises a more
refined body, detach your feeling from the present
body and assume or become the new refined one.
Concentrate your attention at the center until the
spheres of Dhamma, S²la, Sam±dhi, Paññ±, Vimutti,
and Vimutti-ѱºadassana are observed.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 91

The (Form) Brahman Body or R³pabrahma-

k±ya (Figure 16e) appears next, then the Refined
(Form) Brahman Body or Panita-R³pabrahmak±ya
(Figure 16f). Next comes the Formless Brahman
Body or Ar³pabrahmak±ya (Figure 16g), followed by
the Refined Formless Brahman Body or Panita-
Ar³pabrahmak±ya (Figure 16h).

Finally, Dhammak±ya-Gotrabh³, the wisdom
through which a Noble State (transcendence) is
developed, is attained and seen (Figure 17 on page
92). The lap-width, height and sphere diameter are
each nine meters (10 yards). Dhammak±ya-Gotrabh³
is the first of ten Dhammak±yas. Dhammak±yas
appear like diamond Buddha statues, crowned with
a budding lotus. They are luminous, radiant and as
clear as a pure, perfect, first-rate diamond. As you
continue to concentrate at the center of the center,
more and more refined, purer and purer, larger and
larger Dhammak±ya will be observed. Follow the
same procedure described for previous k±ya, con-
centrating through successive spheres until the next
body appears. The path towards ultimate release is
summarized in Figure 18 on page 94. The following
Dhammak±ya will be attained:
92 Chapter V

Figure 17: Dhammak±ya Gotrabh³

Dhammak±ya Gotrabh³å (Noble-state Wis-

dom) and then a Refined Dhammak±ya Gotrabh³
whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter are all
nine meters or more.
Dhammak±ya Sot±-panna (Stream-winner)
and then a Refined Dhammak±ya Sot±-panna whose
lap-width, height and sphere diameter are ten meters
or more.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 93

Dhammak±ya Sakad±g±m² (Once-returner)

and then a Refined Dhammak±ya Sakad±g±m²ãwhose
lap-width, height and sphere diameter are twenty
meters or more.
Dhammak±ya An±g±m²ã (Non-returner) and
then a Refined Dhammak±ya An±g±m² whose lap-
width, height and sphere diameter measure up to
thirty meters or more.
Dhammak±ya Arahant (Perfect One) and
then a Refined Dhammak±ya Arahant whose lap-
width, height and sphere diameter extend up to
forty meters or more.
With all of your mind, become the more and
more refined Dhammak±ya Arahants. Rest your
mind and keep it still, right at the center of the
sphere of the most refined Dhammak±ya Arahant
that you can attain. Hold steady until you reach
¾yatana Nibb±na, the place or sphere where the
most refined Dhammak±ya Arahants can exist in
the highest perfection. This is where the Lord
Buddhas and the Arahants whose Five Aggregates
or khandha have passed away exist forever. For
them, it is called Anup±disesa-nibb±na or Nibb±na
without residue. For the meditator, however, this
is only a brief visit to Nirvana during meditation.
94 Chapter V


P a n i t a Dhammak±ya
Dhammak±ya Arahanta Arahanta

P a n i t a Dhammak±ya
Dhammak±ya An±g±m²ã An ±g am i

Dhammak±ya Panita Dhammak±ya

Sakad±g±m² Sakad±g±m²

Dhammak±ya Sotaã Panita Dhammak±ya


Dhammak±ya Gotrabh³ å ã
Panita Dhammak±ya
Gotrabh³ ã å

Arupabrahmak±ya å ã
A r u p a b r a h ma k±ya

R u p a b r a h ma k±ya å ã
R u p a b r a h ma k±ya

Dibbak±ya å ã Panita Dibbak±ya å ã

M a n u s s a k±ya å ã P a n i t a M a n u s s a k±ya å ã

Figure 18: The Path Towards Ultimate Release

Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 95

This is called temporary transcendence via tempo-

rary suppression of defilements (Vikkhambhana Vimutti).
One who has attained Dhammak±ya has
developed mindful contemplation of physical body,
feelings, mental functions and phenomena (dhamma).
He or she can cut at least three fetters (Saªyojana):
the wrong view of perceiving a “self” in the Five
Khandhas (Sakk±yadiμμhi), uncertainty (Vicikicch±), and
useless or wrong ritual practices and vows (S²labba-
tapar±m±sa). This meditator can then become a
Noble Disciple (Sot±panna).

An Advanced Meditation Session

The following transcript of a session with
experienced meditators indicates how Samadha-
Vipassan±àMeditation can be used for contempla-
tion of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble
Eightfold Path.
Before we start meditating, let us make a
wish that all our spiritual perfections accumulated
from the past up to the present will help us in our
concentration of our minds and aid us to attain the
Path (Magga) and the Fruit (Phala) at this moment.
The ten spiritual perfections are:
96 Chapter V

The Perfection of...

D±na P±ram²ã charity, giving, generosity,
S²la P±ram² morality, good conduct.
Nekkhamma ã renunciation.

Paññ±£P±ram²ã wisdom, insight, understanding.

Viriya P±ram² endeavor, energy, effort.
Khanti P±ram²ã endurance, tolerance,
Sacca P±ram²ã truthfulness.
Adhiμμh±na P±ram²ã resolution, self-determination.
Mett±àP±ram²ã loving-kindness, friendliness.
Upekkh±àP±ram²ã equanimity, indifference to
praise and blame.

May all our accumulated perfections, together

with the virtues of our parents, teachers, precep-
tors, and the Triple Gem, help us to be mindful
and remove the five hindrances, attain Dhamma
and reach the enlightened Dhammak±ya. When
making this request, our mind will be happy and
delighted by all the good meritorious deeds we
have done in the past up to the present.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 97

And now let us start our meditation.

Focus your attention to the center of the
sphere at the center of the body. Whenever the
real nucleus appears, rest your mind gently at its
center until the center expands itself. Then fix your
attention at the center of the newly refined sphere
and when the four components of your mind are
perfectly concentrated, the center will expand itself
and another brighter and more refined sphere will
appear. Go on with this procedure until your refined
human body appears. It will be sitting in the same
position as the crude body. Now focus all your
attention at the center of the refined human body
and forget completely about the crude one.
When the body and sphere are more re-
fined, you may observe that there will appear a
rounded seat under the refined human body. Just
acknowledge it, don’t do anything. When your mind
is perfectly concentrated at the center of the
refined human body, the center will expand itself.
Larger and larger bodies, more and more refined,
will appear accordingly. Following the Refined Human
Body you will see and become the Celestial Body
and then the Refined Celestial Body, which are
about double the size of the Refined Human Body.
Then comes the Brahman Body and the Refined
98 Chapter V

Brahman Body, which are about double the size of

the Celestial Body. These are followed by the
Formless Brahman Body and the Refined Formless
Brahman Body, which again will be about double
the size of the Brahman Body.
When you stop still at the center of the
Refined Formless Brahman Body, the center will
expand itself and Dhammak±ya will appear. The
standard size of the Dhammak±ya is about nine
meters in width and height, and it looks like a very
brilliant and refined Buddha image. Now stop still at
the center of the Dhammak±ya and there will
appear larger and larger, more refined and purer
Dhammak±ya. Each time, become that newly refined
Dhammak±ya and let your mind rest at its center.
Continue purifying yourself in this way, always
focusing mindfully at the center of the purest body
and mind.
(A minute of silence.)
Now let us practice Vipassan±. [First, let us
examine rebirth.] Stop still at the center of the
sphere at the center of the Crude Human Body, in
the Dhamma Sphere, also called the Paμhama-
magga sphere. At the center of the Dhamma-
Sphere there exists the Sphere of Suffering. At its
center you see the Sphere of Rebirth. It is bright,
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 99

pure and transparent. We received this sphere

when we were born.
At the center of the Rebirth-Sphere is the
Sphere of Old Age. It looks black. The size
depends upon your age. The older you are, the
bigger the sphere. At the center of the Old-Age-
Sphere, a sick person will have a sphere as black
as charcoal, called the Sphere of Sickness. At the
center of that sphere, a very brilliant, black sphere
appears when a sick person is close to death.
This is the Sphere of Death.
When a person dies, all of the refined
bodies, starting with the refined human body,
detach from the center of the dying crude human
body and seek rebirth right away as a rebirth
sphere. For example, if this rebirth sphere departs
with a human beings level of merit (Dhamma), it
will be reborn into the human world. The rebirth
sphere will settle at the center of the future father
and wait for up to seven days. When the future
parents have intercourse, the three spheres of
father, mother, and potential child will come close
together. The sphere of the child-to-be leaves the
father and enters the mother’s womb. A male
rebirth sphere leaves the father through his right
nostril and enters the mother through her right
100 Chapter V

nostril. A female Rebirth Sphere leaves the father’s

left nostril and enters the mother’s left nostril.
That’s enough about rebirth. Now, let us
come back out to the sphere of suffering and
begin Vipassan± of the Four Noble Truths. At the
center of the Sphere of Suffering, there exists the
sphere of the Cause of Suffering. It is comprised
of three black spheres of craving, each one inside
the previous one. The first is the sphere of sensual
passion. The second is the sphere of the Desire to
Become. And, the third sphere is the Sphere of the
Desire Not to become.
At the center of the Sphere of Suffering is
a Sphere of the Cause of Suffering, comprised of
three black spheres. The first is the Sphere of
Sensual Feeling or Passion, the second is the
Sphere of the Desire to Become, and the third is
the Sphere of the Desire Not to Become. These
three spheres of cravings are situated at the
center of the center of each other.
When you stop still at the center of the
Sphere of Cause of Suffering, the center expands
itself and the Sphere of Extinction of Suffering will
appear. It is very bright and refined. The size will
be about a foot in diameter or possibly even
larger. At the center of this sphere you will find
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 101

the Sphere of Magga, the Eightfold Path. It is

comprised of the Sphere of S²la (Morality), the
Sphere of Sam±dhi (Concentration), and the Sphere
of Paññ± (Wisdom), each located concentrically
inside the previous sphere.
When you stop still at the center of the
Sphere of S²la, three more refined spheres appear
concentrically – the Spheres of Right Speech, Right
Action, and Right Livelihood. Similarly, the sphere of
Sam±dhi is comprised of three brighter spheres –
the Spheres of Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and
Right Concentration. Finally, the Sphere of Paññ±
(Wisdom) contains two concentric spheres, Right
Thought and Right Intention. Thus, there are eight
spheres in all, which collectively comprise the Noble
Eightfold Path.
The spheres of the Four Noble Truths, which
we have just examined, exist at the center of all
worldly bodies from the Crude Human Body to the
Refined Formless Brahman Body. One should con-
template them in each body. That is, in both the
external (crude) and internal (refined) bodies at the
Human, Celestial, Brahman and Formless Brahman
The Dhammak±ya body doesn’t have a
Sphere of Suffering or Sphere of the Cause of
102 Chapter V

Suffering. It has only the Sphere of Nirodha

(Extinction of Suffering) and the Sphere of Magga
or Path. The diameter of the Magga Sphere is
equal to the height and width of the Dhammak±ya.
Whenever the concentration of mind is at
least up to the first level of jh±na, Right Wisdom
is present and the perfected Noble Eightfold Path
can remove at least the first three fetters binding
one to this world. These three “lower” fetters are:
• False self concept, attachment to aggre-
gates, and wrong view of compounds;
• Doubt about Buddhist practices; and
• Reliance on false rules and rituals.
When these three bonds have been re-
moved, Dhammak±ya Sot±-panna appears followed
by more and more refined Dhammak±yas. There
will then be Enlightened Vision (ѱºadassana) and
the meditator becomes a Noble Person.
Let your mind stop still at the center of the
sphere at the center of your body, and then let
us make a wish before completing this meditation
session. Let us request Lord Buddha to bless all
of us to live a happy and prosperous life without
problems and suffering. Let’s extend our loving-
kindness and share our merit accumulated from the
past up to the present with all world beings.
Dhammakaya Meditation Practice 103

Nibb±na paccayo hotu.

May these be the means whereby Nibb±na
is ultimately attained.

For meditation, sit cross-legged and make
your mind peaceful and fully alert, closing the eyes
lightly. We use two aids: the repetitive word
“samm± arahang” and the object of visualization,
the light sphere. Beginning meditators should visual-
ize a sphere at the nostril and bring it through the
seven positions to the center of the body, repeat-
ing “samm± arahang” to keep it bright and clear.
When the mind is concentrated, the Dhamma
Sphere will arise at the seventh position. In it you
can see the spheres of the elements. With concen-
tration at the center of the Sphere of Conscious-
ness, the sphere of S²la will arise, then the
spheres of Sam±dhi, Paññ±, Vimutti (Emancipation)
and Vimutti-ѱºadassana (Insight).
With concentration, the refined human form
appears, then more and more refined body-minds.
The meditator becomes each, by concentrating at
the center of the center. Eventually the practitioner
104 Chapter V

becomes Dhammak±ya Gotrabh³, Noble State Wis-

dom. Then more Dhammak±ya follow, up to Dhamma-
k±ya Arahant. By holding steady at the center, the
meditator can see ¾yatana Nibb±na where Lord
Buddha and the Arahants exist forever.
Advanced meditators can see and contem-
plate the Spheres of Suffering, Old Age, Sickness
and Death, as well as the Spheres of the Cause
of Suffering, and the Spheres of the Noble Eightfold
Path which lead to the extinction of suffering. With
practice, the meditator can cut the fetters and
become a Noble One.
Chapter VI


This chapter presents questions and answers

which serve to clarify Dhammak±ya practice.
It consists of two parts:
1. Questions on Beginning Meditation
2. Questions on Advanced Meditation (pg 113)

1. Questions on Beginning Meditation

The following questions were posed to the
Venerable Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith by those who
attended the three-day series of Dhamma talks at
the Buddhist Vih±ra, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
106 Chapter VI

Q1. Where is the center part of the body?

A1. The way to locate the center part of
your body is to imagine two transparent strings or
lines. One line passes from the front to the back,
two “anguli” (middle finger joint lengths) or about
two inches or five centimeters above the navel
level. Visualize that line. The second line passes
from the middle of the right side to the left. Now
you can see the intersection of the two lines. That
is the center of your body.

Q2. Do you see the bright sphere up here,

near the eyes, or down here, at the center of
your body?
A2. It should be at the center of your
body. This is the most proper place. I know that
many people may see the bright sphere on the
forehead or outside. Try to bring it in to the center
of your body. The technique for bringing your mind
in is to roll your eyes upwards a little bit while
gently closing your eyelids. This helps the mind
components which are wandering outside to go
backwards and vertically downwards, coming to
rest at the center of your body. Try it. Roll your
eyes upwards and imagine the center of your
body, then the bright sphere will appear there.
Questions & Answers 107

Q3. Could you please tell that gentleman

not to take photographs during the meditation
session. The flashes distract my concentration.
A3. That can be a problem, but you must
learn through experience to separate your mind
from the outside environment. Even if the fan goes
tick, tick... or you meet other disturbances, don’t
worry about them. Don’t pay any attention to them.
When you pay attention to your object of concen-
tration and nothing else, your mind will be free and
will stop still in the proper place. It is your mind
that you wish to train. Try it.

Q4. I did not actually see the bright sphere

when I closed my eyes. But, when I was breathing
in and out I was concentrating on the breath and
then I could get a white light. What do you think
about this?
A4. That’s good. This method can also
incorporate ¾n±p±nasati. ¾n±p±nasati is mindfulness
of breathing, without following the breath. Don’t
follow the breath, but be mindful of it at any one
of several fixed points that the breath passes, like
at the nostril aperture, the center of the chest, or
at the center of your body. If you do ¾n±p±nasati
properly, you will find your breathing becomes
108 Chapter VI

shallower and shallower, more and more refined.

Eventually, it will stop still at the center of your
body and you will see a very bright sphere there.
This is the objective of ¾n±p±nasati in the
Dhammak±ya approach. The mind will stop naturally,
by itself. Then, you have come close to the right
track. When you observe the breathing, your mind
will become better and better concentrated, even
though your mind has not yet stopped still at the
center. When your mind stops at the center of
your body, you will see the light sphere there. Your
mind should be still there. Try again.
If you are used toâ¾n±p±nasati practice,
just imagine a sphere at the center of your body
and be mindful of it. When you breathe in and out,
put your mindfulness there. Observe your breath
passing through the sphere. Then, you will see the
sphere getting clearer and clearer. When your mind
stops still at the center of the sphere, you will find
light. You will appear not to be breathing because
the breath has become very shallow and refined.
When your mind stops still, you will see a very
bright sphere or nucleus as your object. Be mindful
Questions & Answers 109

Q5. Just now, when you said to imagine

the sphere, I couldn’t really see or visualize the
sphere. What should I do?
A5. Try more. This is the first time you
are trying to train the mind which has been
wandering outside ever since your were born. You
require a longer time to train it to stay at the
center. Don’t be over eager to see something.
When a light appears, you may press your mind
hard to see a sharp image of a sphere. If so, the
light may disappear. Just relax. Don’t pay attention
to anything but the center of the object of
concentration. Don’t be too eager, just visualize the
sphere. Stop still at the center of the center,
repeating the words “Samm± Arahang”. Try to
practice today before going to bed or whenever
you can. You can practice in any position: walking,
sitting, eyes opened or closed, it doesn’t matter.
Just bring your mind into the center of your body.
This is very meritorious. Why? When your
mind wanders outside, it will contact and attach to
worldly objects you like, or feel aversion towards
the objects you dislike. That will cause passion to
arise in the form of craving, greed, ill will, or
delusion. So, if you bring your mind inside, even for
a second, it is very meritorious because the mind
110 Chapter VI

stops unattached to any worldly object. Thus, your

mind will become purer and purer. Try to do it
everyday, every time you feel free to do so, in
any position and at any place.

Q6. Reverend, when you see the sphere,

isn’t it supposed to be round? I see something
which looks oblong.
A6. Yes, it may be so, but do not be
bothered at all. If you stop still at the center (a
very transparent spot), you see Dhamma. The
Dhamma Sphere enlarges from that spot and
becomes a sphere anyway.

Q7. You said to imagine the center of the

sphere at the nose aperture, then the eye socket,
then the center of the head. Why those positions?
A7. Luang Phor Wat Paknam, who originally
taught the Dhammak±ya approach, during his time,
discovered that the mind of a person functions in
this way when he or she is about to die, to fall
asleep, to wake up, or to be reborn. The old mind
at the center of the Dhamma sphere in the
seventh position will drop to the sixth position, in
line with the navel. Then, the new mind of the new
body (which depends on kamma) will rest at the
Questions & Answers 111

seventh position. That is why we call the center of

the body the permanent place of the mind.
When exiting, the mind drops to the sixth
place, then fifth, fourth, third, second, and first.
Then, out it goes. Similarly, the mind enters by the
same path. So, for the first meditation session, we
are instructed by Luang Phor Wat Paknam to
teach all students to know the path along which
the minds gets in and out. This occurs when a
person dies, is reborn, falls asleep, or awakens, or
even during other activities not mentioned here.
This initial technique is for you to know how
the mind gets in and out. Afterwards, for subse-
quent meditation sessions, we will advise you to
immediately concentrate at the center of the body.
Why? Within the physical body, more and more
refined bodies exist along with Dhamma and mind.
As you know, the mind components are feelings
(Vedan±), perception (Saññ±), formations (Saªkh±ra),
and consciousness (Viññ±ºa). These elements de-
velop to be the four mind components: the Sphere
of Vision, the Sphere of Memory, the Sphere of
Thought, and the Sphere of Awareness. All these
are naturally positioned at the center of the body.
Here, at the center of the body is where
you can contemplate the four Foundations of
112 Chapter VI

Mindfulness or Satipaμμh±na. These Satipaμμh±na

were cited by the Buddha as “the only way” to
enlightenment, regardless of which approach you
take. In Satipaμμh±na practice, one is mindful of and
contemplates refined bodies, feelings, mental func-
tions, and phenomena (dhamma) both externally and
internally. This is done most efficiently at the
center of the body, through the Vijj± Dhammak±ya
approach, because all the more and more refined
bodies, minds and phenomena (dhamma) inside us
are located at the center of each other.
When you stop still, your mind becomes
purer and purer. You can reach more and more
refined Dhamma and purer and purer minds and
bodies until you reach the purest Dhammak±ya.
Dhammak±ya is the purest state of mind and has
different characteristics from Saªkh±ra or compound
nature. Moreover, as your mind becomes purer and
purer by stopping still at the center of the center
of purer and purer Dhamma, mind and bodies, what
happens? Nothing outside can disturb you.
Questions & Answers 113

2. Questions on Advanced Meditation

This section consists of two parts:
2.1 An Interview conducted by an Ad-
vanced Meditator
2.2 Questions Posed by a Foreign Monk

2.1 An Interview by an Advanced

An interview with Phra Ajahn Sermchai
Jayamanggalo (now Phra Rajyanvisith) conducted by
John Ladalski at Wat Meh Liew, Kuala Lumpur, on
Friday August 3, 1990.

Q1. Is it possible to become a Noble One

during meditation and then return to become an
ordinary layman (puthujjana) again on coming out of
A1. Oh no, that is not possible.

Q2. What is a “puthujjana”?

A2. A layman who is thick with passion. If
one becomes a Noble One, he cannot fall back to
existences lower than the human world. But, if one
is just a Dhammak±ya without cutting the fetters,
one can fall back when one does wrong.
114 Chapter VI

Q3. So, even though he does Dhammak±ya

Meditation, but hasn’t reached the “Stream-Enterer”
stage yet by getting rid of the three fetters, he
can come down?
A3. That’s right. It is as simple as that.

Q4. How long does it take to attain Nibb±na?

A4. It is not possible to tell how long.

Q5. How long does it take to see the

crystal ball or paμhama-magga?
A5. It depends upon each person’s capabil-
ity. There are many factors. First, is former kusala
kamma (meritorious deeds); second, present kusala
kamma from trying to follow the Master’s teachings.
For example, meditators have to accept the pre-
cepts and try to keep mindful of the sphere by
repeating the words “Samm± Arahang”. Practice it
often. Don’t let wrong emotions such as losing your
temper develop in the mind. Try to calm the mind.
Be mindful all the time and practice often, using
the right method.

Q6. So, if you attend the fifteen-day retreat

in Rajburi, what is the possibility of being success-
ful in seeing the crystal ball?
Questions & Answers 115

A6. I would say a third of the participants

are successful, if they complete the fifteen days.
At least you can more or less see the sphere.

Q7. Can we say that a longer time, say a

month, would increase the success rate to 50%?
A7. No, I cannot say that. It may be 40%
or even less, because usually fifteen days is the
maximum for a person to continue exerting his or
her whole effort. Longer than that and the medi-
tator might become bored. You need a rest.

Q8. It cannot be like three months?

A8. Seriously, it doesn’t help much. It should
be about fifteen days. After that, relax a little bit,
then proceed again. In that way you’ll have

Q9. What is the proper time to meditate

during the day?
A9. Some people say in the morning at
3:00, 4:00, or 5:00 am, and some say 9:00 or
10:00 am. Afternoon is not very good. It becomes
good again around 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 or 10:00 pm.
116 Chapter VI

Q10. How about before you go to sleep?

A10. Yes. But for me, as I see it, it
depends upon one’s physical fitness and environ-
ment. If you feel exhausted or tired, take a rest.
Afterwards, when you can find the proper condi-
tions such as a quiet place, good weather and
free time, meditation can be very helpful at
anytime. It depends upon how you feel. The best
way is to try to do as much as you can without
forcing it too much. Don’t be too eager.
Sometimes you might sit under a tree in
good weather for only a couple of minutes and
you can see the sphere! Some people can see it
while walking along, not sitting formally. Like me, I
see the sphere during walking. When your merit
becomes full, you can see it. When your mind
becomes tranquil, peaceful and still, you can also
see it right away because the mind becomes
perfectly concentrated.

Q11. Is there a correlation? If you do more

merit, will you be more calm?
A11. Happy. You will be more happy.
Questions & Answers 117

Q12. Where does this happiness come from?

From the kamma of doing merit?
A12. It comes two ways. Happiness can
be brought about by sense objects and by doing
good kamma which give the “right” result, a happy
and peaceful mind.

Q13. How long should a meditation session

be? How many minutes?
A13. I would recommend about thirty min-
utes for beginners. After you get used to it, it can
be more and more until about an hour. If one is
very good, two hours doesn’t matter. Sometimes
when I am invited to bless a Buddha statue I
meditate two hours. Normally, I will practice only
one hour.

Q14. Did you ever do it for a very long

time, say three, four or five hours?
A14. No, I have not done it that way. I
change my position by walking or in other ways.
Yes, walking, but I do not have to walk according
to a rigorous format. I just take it easy.
118 Chapter VI

Q15. Does M±ra, that is Devaputta M±ra,

ever affect you or anybody who is especially
transmitting or spreading the Dhamma through
Dhammak±ya Meditation? Does that affect people
like some negative thing would happen more as a
result of M±ra? Does he affect or attack?
A15. He attacks any person who does good.

Q16. Is it more so for you?

A16. They try, but as you concentrate at
the center of your body, your mind will become
purer and brighter. Most of the M±ra cannot come
close and cannot attack. I wouldn’t talk too much
because sometimes when you talk about this, it is
like a challenge to M±ra. M±ra is a bad thing
which is like a bad person. If we talk about a bad
person, even worse may befall us, but anyway I
will talk about this.

Q17. Did you have any experience like that?

A17. M±ra never got close to me.

Q18. Should one feel discouraged on hearing

of an-other’s progress in their meditation? How
should we act to that situation?
Questions & Answers 119

A18. Make your mind neutral. Don’t be

interested in anything outside yourself. Lord Buddha
taught us not to pay attention to another’s activi-
ties. Just check your own activities.

Q19. In Majjhima Nik±ya M.ii 37-44, it is

said that an evil person may also be able to
practice meditation and reach the eighth absorption
level or jh±na, is that true?
A19. An evil person?

Q20. Can a person who attained the eighth

jh±na level and who has psychic powers still have
evil intentions? Can he be not an Arahant, but an
evil person with Dhammak±ya. Can he do evil
things? Is that possible?
A20. As long as one’s mind is Dhammak±ya,
he or she won’t do anything wrong. One will be
very good. But, at anytime when the mind is out
of the center or the Dhammak±ya is gone, he or
she can be evil. Even for just a second the mind
can be in and out. If you become evil and have
evil in mind, the Dhammak±ya will be gone. It takes
a long time until your mind is pure enough to bring
the Dhammak±ya back again. But, no one knows
this problem and somebody says “Oh, this person
is a Dhammak±ya.” In fact, he is not one any
120 Chapter VI

Q21. What about Devadatta, did he ever

reach Dhammak±ya? He had great psychic powers.
A21. Yes, because of Samatha practice he
reached Dhammak±ya. But, he was not a Noble
Person yet. The moment he had an evil mind like
thinking of going against the Buddha, the Dhammak±ya
disappeared instantly and he lost all his powers.

Q22. Didn’t he possess power for a while

after that?
A22. Yes, the misdeed was not bad enough.
For example, he had the power to influence the
Prince’s mind when he convinced Prince Ajatasattu
to be on his side. But, by merely thinking about
destroying or attacking Lord Buddha, all the power
was gone.

Q23. Can an evil person be at the eighth

A23. Evil people can clarify their own
minds. You say “evil person”, but that person won’t
do bad things all the time. Whenever he or she
stops doing bad things and tries to clear up the
mind, he can reach that jh±na. Later, when he has
bad mind again, he will lose it. Between times,
some powers still exist. They are not entirely wiped
Questions & Answers 121

Q24. Is that statement I quoted logical and

A24. While practicing the person is no longer
evil, because the mind becomes purer and purer.
But, the purpose of this concentration or meditation
is for something else, not for Right Wisdom. During
the time the mind is pure, the R³pa and Ar³pa
forms are like those of a yog². But, some yog²
with even high-level concentration of mind still get
angry sometimes and condemn one another. They
can still go back to meditating.

Q25. That means that it is still possible?

A25. Yes, that is possible, but not the right
way. Not the right way to develop Right Under-
standing. Not the right way to develop Right
Wisdom. Therefore, he will destroy himself later.
122 Chapter VI

2.2 Questions Posed by a Foreign


Figure 19: Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith is pouring water

(Gruat Nam)

Q1. Is Gruat Nam (pouring water) a 100%

Buddhist ritual?
A1. No, it was originally Br±hman. When-
ever they offer something to another person they
poured water as a symbol of separating from the
thing given. This meant they gave without condi-
tions. When the ritual was adopted by Buddhism,
Questions & Answers 123

the meaning changed. Here it is used to transfer

merit collected from the past up to the present to
other people, especially to the deceased.
We recite Pali words, but you are welcome
to wish whatever you want. I would like to add
that we should not only transfer our merits to our
deceased relatives but also to everyone else,
because, don’t forget that we have been born
countless times already, so nearly all world beings
are our relatives. I am sure you came to this
temple because once you were either my relative
or my close student. So, when transferring merit,
do it to close relatives first, then to all world

Q2. But, if we go on giving merit away

each time we gain some, would it not mean that
we would end up having none left for our own
A2. Oh no, you see merit is like a light
or a candle. Imagine yourself with a candle in
your hand and see the light shining all around
you. Transferring merit means that you invite
everyone to come and appreciate your light and
to receive it from you. In other words, they will
come with their candles to light from yours. Like
that, you can see, your candle never gets
124 Chapter VI

weaker, but in fact brighter. Why? Because the

light from the candles of all the people you have
invited will reflect back on you.

Q3. When I am meditating, my attention

seems to be concentrated mostly on all the arising
spheres and bodies. When will I have the possibility
to contemplate and when can I develop that all
important wisdom?
A3. Any time the mind is free from hin-
drances, you can go on contemplating. For ex-
ample, when you see the sphere clearly, you can
enlarge it at will, which would then mean that your
Sphere of Vision, Sphere of Memory, Sphere of
Thoughts, and Sphere of Awareness would be
larger too. Just go on until it is about the size of
your whole body.
In that state, supernatural vision will be
developed, enabling you to observe all angles of
your body simultaneously. In other words, you do
not have to move your vision from place to place
to see at all.
You can now contemplate on every organ
of your body until you fully realize that not one
single part is at-tractive, but all organs are in fact
impure. This is also a very effective way to calm
Questions & Answers 125

down your mind from sexual desire. I will give

you an example.
When I was still a layman I took a com-
muter pickup bus (song taew) home. I was lucky
to get a seat, but as the bus filled there was
standing room only and people stood very close. A
young lady stood right in front of me, facing me,
and her bosom was at times touching my face as
the bus swayed. I was concentrated all the time,
and in my mind I intended to see what she looked
like. During the ride I saw every part of her body
that I wished to see, and I then realized that it
was in fact very dirty. She had her period and a
rather unpleasant odor hit my mind at that point.
So, that was contemplation of the human
body (K±yagat±sati), and I have used that tech-
nique ever since, both on my own body and those
of others. It also helped me in staying away from
my spouse for ten years prior to my ordination as
a monk.
When you get a sexual feeling, be mindful
right away. Use your wisdom, and start contemplat-
ing as soon as you get rid of the hindrances.
Purify yourself from the crude mind up to more
and more refined minds. When you reach the
purest, the most calm, contemplate! You will calm
126 Chapter VI

down any sexual desire by seeing the reality of

all organs. Be mindful all the time!

Q4. Would I ever be able to look into the

future during meditation?
A4. Whenever you see the sphere and
concentrate at the center of the center, you will
see a small space, about the size of the hole of
a needle or even smaller, depending on your level
of concentration. The higher the level, the smaller
the space. At the center of that space there
exists an extremely thin thread or string — very
thin indeed and transparent. It leads from your birth
into the future. Stop still at the center so that your
mind becomes neutral. Don’t create any pictures, be
neutral and make it your intention to follow the
course of the string. When the center expands
itself you will see your own life during the coming
five to ten years. Become that older body and go
to the center of the center and you can go on
advancing your age until you see your own dead
I am sure that anyone who has a pure and
neutral mind or Dhammak±ya will know when they
are going to die and how. When seeing the dead
body of themselves, they can use the experience
for recollection of death (Maraº±nusati).
Questions & Answers 127

Even though we know the exact day we

are going to die and in which position, we still do
not get attached to it. In our wisdom we see our
body and mind (Five Aggregates) as impermanent,
suffering, and non-self.
As long as you have cravings you will have
that string. In other words, strings exist within the
four worldly bodies (Human, Celestial, Brahman and
Formless Brahman). But, the Dhammak±ya doesn’t
have any string.
I will, however, advise you that when you
reach this level you should not talk to anyone
about it. That would be violating Lord Buddha’s
Precepts. A monk only does it for the wisdom
involved. I would also like to emphasize that as
long as we are not saints or Arahants these things
we are seeing are, of course, impermanent. So,
doing this kind of contemplation requires mindfulness
at all times.

Q5. What about looking back into previous

A5. Focus your attention at the center of
the Crude Human Body’s sphere. Make your mind
neutral and observe again that very small space
where the thin transparent sting will appear. You
128 Chapter VI

then make it your intention to see your own life

in the past, let us say ten years back in time.
Stop still at the center of the center until your
mind is perfectly concentrated. Then the center will
expand itself and you will see yourself when you
were ten years younger. Then concentrate your
mind and let it stand still at the center of that
body and keep on going further and further back
in time until you see yourself at birth. You can
then go even further back to when you were in
your mother’s womb. Now go to the center of the
baby and aim to see your life previous to this one.
When you see it, observe where you are and who
you are, generation after generation, further and
further back in time.
Whenever you see these past lives you
may contemplate on all the Five Aggregates of
compound matter. Living compound things are sub-
ject to change according to the factors of good
deeds (caused by merit) or bad deeds (caused by
passion or craving). This will cause a person to be
reborn in either a happy or a suffering world.
Anyone who is attached to these compound things
with craving and illusion, bad speech, bad action,
and bad thoughts, will be reborn in a suffering
world. Living a meritorious life of good deeds will
lead to bliss and happiness in the next existence.
The effect of suffering and happiness might even
Questions & Answers 129

be experienced in the present lifetime. You will

finally realize that each life you observe is in fact
non-self and no permanent refuge to anyone.
Then, contemplate the Three Characteristics
of all compound things, before making it your
intention to return to the present. Purify yourself by
standing still at the center of the more and more
refined bodies, by now probably even brighter and
purer than before, until you reach the purest
Dhammak±ya. This will result in detachment from all
aggregates. You should have a neutral mind free
from any feelings, happy or unhappy, to obtain a
peaceful mind of high absorption.
The purest Dhammak±ya will then appear in
Nibb±na (the Supra-mundane plane) where the En-
lightened Dhammak±ya of Lord Buddha and the
Saints whose Five Aggregates have passed away
will exist. You will see Lord Buddha (the enlightened
Dhammak±ya) sitting on his throne with his enlight-
ened disciples gathered around him in a half circle.
But not only that, you will also see the countless
Buddhas of the past, both the Subbaññu Buddhas
(surrounded by disciples) and the Pacceka Buddhas
(sitting alone).
130 Chapter VI
Conclusion 131

Chapter VII


In conclusion, we have deliberated on the

principles and practice of Dhammak±ya meditation in
considerable detail. We noted that Vijj± Dhammak±ya
combines aspects of concentration (Samadha) and
wisdom (Vipassan±) meditation. These, together with
morality (S²la) make up the Noble Eightfold Path.
Vijj±àDhammak±ya Samadha meditation utilizes
three of Lord Buddha’s forty concentration devices:
visualization of the light sphere (¾loka Kasiºa),
repetition of a mantra Samm± Arahang to call Lord
Buddha’s wisdom and purity into the mind (Buddh±-
nussati), and mindfulness of breathing (¾n±p±nasati).
The fourth principle at the heart of Vijj±
Dhammak±ya is concentration at the center of the
center. By bringing the mind to rest at the center
of the body, the meditator can see his or her own
Dhamma sphere which reveals the consequences of
132 Chapter VII

moral behavior. Continually focusing at the center

of the center, the practitioner can proceed through
ever purer body-minds all the way to Nibb±na.
Dhammak±ya Vipassan±à practice aims at
Right Wisdom through contemplation of the body,
feelings, mental functions and phenomena (dhamma).
There are two levels, mundane Right Understanding
of compound phenomena (Saªkh±ra) and supra-
mundane Right Understanding of non-compound nature
(Visaªkh±ra) which is Nibb±na and Dhammak±ya.
Vijj±àDhammak±ya is especially effective in helping
meditators to experience non-compound nature directly.
The real heart of Dhammak±ya meditation is
practice. Now that you have read about the
principles and techniques, I strongly urge you to put
them to use. Academic learning can indicate the
way, but direct experience through meditation is the
path to purification and wisdom.
Conclusion 133


[Pg 5] Warder, A.K., 1991. Introduction to Pali
(Third Edition). Oxford: The Pali Text Society.
[Pg 9] The fourth Foundation of Mindfulness,
Dham±mnupassan±àhas been rendered in English
as “Contemplation of Mind Objects.” This is not
wrong, but vague, implying all mental phenomena.
In fact, Lord Buddha specifies only five major
teachings for contemplation [The Five Hindrances,
Five Aggregates, Six Internal and External Sense-
Bases (¾yatana), Seven Factors of Enlightenment,
and the Four Noble Truths]. Thus, we keep the
original Pali, Dhamma, with a capital letter
implying teachings. It should be noted, however,
that these are not only external teachings, but
also internal phenomena that can be observed
and contemplated directly in meditation.
[Pg 10] Mahamakuta Buddhist University, 1989
(BE 2532), “Apara½ÿPañcasata Bhikku.” in
Dhammapatatthakath±àThai Textbook, Volume
7, pg 62. Bangkok: Mahamakuta Buddhist University
[Pg 11] Mahamakuta Buddhist University, 1982
(BE 2525), “Itivuttaka Dh±tu Sutta” in Sutta
and Commentary: An Interpretation, Khuddaka-
134 Chapter VII

Nik±ya pg. 310. Bangkok: Mahamakuta Buddhist

University Press.
[Pg 11] Mahamakuta Buddhist University, 1985
(BE 2528), “Bhikkh³hi Puμμha Pañha” in
Dhammapatatthakath±àThai Textbook, Volume
6, pg. 180. Bangkok: Mahamakuta Buddhist University
[Pg 11] Mahamakuta Buddhist University, 1985
(BE 2528), “Aññatara Up±saka” and “Pasenadi-
kosala” in Dhammapatatthakath± Thai Text-
book, Volume 6, pg. 132. Bangkok: Mahamakuta
Buddhist University Press.
[Pg 15, 17, and 58] The word Dhammak±ya
appears many times in the scriptures. Here are
six examples.
[1] In the Pathikavagga Sutta (Thai ท.ี ปา. 11/55/
92), Lord Buddha says Dhammak±ya is a name
for the Buddha. “Dhammak±ya, Dhammabh³to,
Brahmak±ya and Brahmabh³to are all names for
the Tathagata.” The Thai D²ghanik±ya Commentary
(Thai ท.ี อฏ. 3/50) explains that this is because
Dhamma came from his heart via his words.

[2] In the Khuddakanik±ya, Apad±na (Thai ขุ. อป.

32/2/20) Lord Buddha said that solo (Pacceka)
Buddhas “...have a lot of Dhammak±ya.” The
Conclusion 135

Apad±na Commentary (Thai¢อป. อฏ. 1/245)

explains that this means that they have a
high natural state.ÊÀÒÇ

[3] Also in the Khuddakanik±ya, Apad±na,

(Thai ขุ. อป. 33/157/284) Lord Buddha presents
himself as Dhammak±ya – already fully developed.

[4] Badantacariya Buddhaghosa (Thai สํ. อฏ. 2/

342-343) explained that Dhammak±ya means the
Tathagata plus the nine supra-mundane Dhamma
– the 4 paths and 4 fruits of the Noble Disciples
and Nibb±na.

[5] The Paramattha D²pan²ãCommentary (Thai

อิต.ิ อฏ. 334) explains that anyone who sees
Dhammak±ya with the ѱna eye sees Lord
Buddha, the solo (Pacceka) Buddhas and the

[6] The same Paramattha D²pan²ãCommentary

(Thai จริยา. อฏ. 324) explains that the Dhammak±yas
of Lord Buddha and the solo (Pacceka) Buddhas
and the Arahants are True Self. “The Perfections
(B±ram²) have rid these Dhammak±yas of all
defilements. They are True Self. Thus, they are
ultimate and eternal.
136 Chapter VII

If one looks beyond the specific word “Dhamma-

k±ya” for Dhammak±ya concepts, they are found
close to the heart of Buddhism. Upon hearing
the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, Kondañña
attained the Dhamma Eye or Dhammacakkhu.
And, Lord Buddha’s definitive treatise on medi-
tation, the Greater Sutta on the Four Founda-
tions of Mindfulness, begins with the instruction
“A monk abides contemplating body in body.”
The ultimate verification of Vijj±àDhammak±ya
lies not in the scriptures, but in the thousands
of meditators who have repeatedly seen the
body in body and attained remarkable results.
We invite you to see for yourself.
[Pg 19] The forty are listed in the Visuddhi-
magga. Some scholars maintain that only 38
were specified by Lord Buddhaand that two
were added later.
[Pg 19] Buddhaghosa, Bhad±ntacariya, c. 0007
(c. BE 550), The Path of Purification
(Visuddhimagga), translated by Bhikkhu Ñanamol².
Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, Third Edition
1975. The forty meditation subjects are summarized
in Chapter III, stanza 104, on page 112.
Conclusion 137

[Pg 42] Saªkh±ra: The word has several
meanings. In the broad sense, it embraces all
existing things, i.e. the material universe. Saªkh±ra
includes everything of which impermanence is
the inherent characteristic, or everything which
springs from a cause.
In the context of the formula Sabbe saªkh±ra
anicca, the term saªkh±ra refers to existence
or matter, the three characteristics (ti-lakkhana)
of impermanence, suffering and the non-existence
of “self.” In the Dhammapada, dhamma is
substituted for saªkh±ra in the third formula.
The commentaries interpret both saªkh±ra and
dhamma in the sense of the grasping Five
Aggregates or Khandhas, or conditioned nature.
[Pg 43] Anatt±, Nibb±na and Dhammak±ya: The
subjects of Anatt±àand Nibb±na have been the
crux of disputes over Buddha’s Teachings for
centuries. Some Buddhist scholars unreservedly
cling to the view that ‘abiding self’ is neither
applicable to any conditioned phenomenon nor
to Nibb±na, the unconditioned element
The Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach, representing
the teaching of the Most Venerable Luang Phor
Wat Paknam, by whose ernest efforts and
wisdom the age-old, long forgotten vista of the
138 Chapter VII

original teachings of Lord Buddha were reopened,

maintains that Anatt±, the ‘abiding self’ and or
‘Non-Self’ is compound in nature, and, hence, is
subject to the flux of changes and suffering,
but this is only meant on the mundane level.
The emergence of Dhammak±ya, the purest and
most refined of elements, occurs in the supra-
mundane sphere of Nibb±na, the unconditioned.
Vijj±àDhammak±ya invites earnest seekers ‘to
come and see’ for themselves. Abundance of
materials and references can be found in the
scriptures, but the essence of the Teachings
can best be perceived through direct experience.
the Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach offers the most
efficient way to the Path of Purification and
[Pg 44] We give first the Pali, then our best
English equivalent in boldface, then the traditional
translation, followed by Luang Phor Sodh’s Thai
and its English equivalent underlined. Luang Phor
Sodh’s refinement of traditional translations is
based on direct observation inside.
[Pg 56] Sutta, Kuddaka-Nik±ya, Dhammapada,
Bhikkhu Vagga.
Conclusion 139

[Pg 58] See, for example, the Agañña Sutta
(DN, iii, 84, pg 81, note 2), where Dhammak±ya
is translated as “Norm Body.” Lord Buddha
says that Dhammak±yo (norm body), Brahmak±yo
(supreme body), Dhammabh³to (Norm Being),
and Brahmabh³to (supreme being) are all names
for the Tath±gato (enlightened one). A manual
search of the Thai Canon yielded ten references
to “Dhammak±ya” and a computerized search
of the Sri Lankan Canon found five references.
[Pg 63] T.W. and C.A.F. Rhys Davids, Dialogue
of the Buddha part III, The Pali Text Society.
[Pg 72] Luang Phor Wat Paknam revised the
traditional translation of the Five Aggregates into
four simple Thai words, to clarify the four
mental functions which are usually collectively
considered the “mind.” Of the Five Aggregates
(Khanda), R³pa = Body” stays the same, but
the four mental functions are revised as follows:
Vedana, which is generally translated as “feeling”
becomes “vision” (เห็น in Thai), meaning “seeing
with the mind” or “sensing.” That is, “perception”
or data input via any of the sense organs.
Saññ±, which is generally translated as “perception”
becomes “memory” (จำÓin Thai), meaning labeling
or remembering the word for what was sensed.
140 Chapter VII

Saªkh±ra, which has been confusingly translated

as “kharmic form energies” becomes “thought”
(คิด in Thai), meaning mental conception or
construction. Finally, Viññaºa, which is generally
translated as “consciousness” becomes cognition
(รŒู in Thai), meaning “knowing.”

[Pg 87] Some pictures indicate looking down on
the body from the top. This implies using the
physical eyes. But, we are training the mind’s
eye which dreams. The mind’s eye has no fixed
perspective, no distance from the object. It is
right there.

A. The Pre-Meditation Service .......................................... 142

B. Glossary .................................................................................. 151

C. The Author: Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith ........................ 165

D. Phra Mongkol Thepmuni ............................................... 173

E. Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m .......... 179

F. Phra Maha Jetiya Somdej ........................................ 203

G. Buddhist Meditation Institute ....................................... 207

H. Wat Websites ..................................................................... 217

142 Appendix A

Appendix A
Adopting the Five Precepts

Candles and three incense sticks are lit. All bow or

prostrate three times in homage to the Buddha, the Dhamma
(Buddha’s Doctrine), and the Sangha (Order of Disciples).
Then, all recite with joined palms as follows.

Homage to Lord Buddha

Namo Tassa, Bhagavato, Arahato

(Repeat three times: Homage to the Lord, the
Emancipated, the All-Enlightened Buddha,)

Requesting the Triple Refuge

and Five Precepts

Maya½ÿBhante Tisaraºena Saha Pañca S²l±ni Y±c±ma

(May I receive the Triple Refuge together with the
Five Precepts)
Dutiyampi, Maya½ÿ Bhante Tisaraºena Saha Pañca
S²l±ni Y±c±ma
(For the second time, May I receive the Triple
Refuge together with the Five Precepts)
The Pre-Meditation Service 143

Tatiyampi, Maya½ Bhante Tisaraºena Saha Pañca

S²l±ni Y±c±ma
(For the third time, May I receive the Triple
Refuge together with the Five Precepts)

(After the monk has recited the following three times,

the laity does the same)

Namo Tassa, Bhagavato, Arahato

(Repeat three times: Homage to the Lord, the
Emancipated, the All-Enlightened Buddha)

(Repeat after the monk, one verse at a time)

(I accept the Buddha as my refuge)

(I accept the Dhamma as my refuge)

(I accept the Sangha as my refuge)

Dutiyampi Buddha½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the second time, I accept the Buddha as my
144 Appendix A

Dutiyampi Dhamma½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the second time, I accept the Dhamma as
my refuge)

Dutiyampi Saªgha½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the second time, I accept the Sangha as my

Tatiyampi Buddha½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the third time, I accept the Buddha as my

Tatiyampi Dhamma½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the third time, I accept the Dhamma as my

Tatiyampi Saªgha½ÿSarana½ÿGacch±mi
(For the third time, I accept the Sangha as my
The Pre-Meditation Service 145

Acceptance of the Five Precepts

P±º±tip±t± àVeramaº²õ Sikkh±pada½ÿ

(I undertake to observe the precept of refraining
from killing)

Adinn±d±n± àVeramaº²õ Sikkh±pada½ÿ

(I undertake to observe the precept of refraining
from theft)

(I undertake to observe the precept of refraining
from sexual immorality)

Mus±v±d±à Veramaº²õ Sikkh±pada½ÿ

(I undertake to observe the precept of refraining
from wrong speech)

Sur±merayamajjapam±daμμh±n±à Veramaº²õ
(I undertake to observe the precept of refraining
from taking intoxicants)
146 Appendix A

Obeisance to the Triple Gems

(With joined palms, recite the following words of

homage and invocation)

Namo tassa, Bhagavato, Arahato

(Repeat three times: Homage to the Lord, the
Emancipated, the All-Enlightened Buddha,)

Yamaha½ Samm±sambuddha½ Bhagavanta½ÿ

Saraºa½ÿGato (Gata-for ladies), Imin±àSakk±rena
(May I now pay homage to the Buddha, All
enlightened by himself, whom I acknowledge as the
Refuge whereby all sufferings will be removed.)

Yamaha½ÿ Sv±kkh±ta½ÿ bhagavanta

Dhamma½ÿSaraºa½ÿGato (Gata - for ladies),
Imin±àSakk±rena Ta½ÿDhamma½ÿAbhip³jay±mi.
(May I now pay homage to the Dhamma, well-
preached by the Lord, which I acknowledge as the
Refuge whereby all dangers will be removed.)

Yamaha½ÿ Supatipanna½ Saªgha½ Saraºa½

Gato (Gata-for ladies), Imin±àSakk±rena
The Pre-Meditation Service 147

(May I now pay homage to the Sangha who

practice well, whom I acknowledge as the Refuge
whereby all sickness will be removed.)

Araha½ Samm±sambuddho Bhagav±,

Buddha½ÿ Bhagavanta½ÿ Abhiv±demi.
Homage to the All-Enlightened Buddha.


Sv±kkh±to Bhagavat± Dhammo, Dhamma½

Homage to the Dhamma well-preached by the Lord.


Supaμipanno Bhagavato, S±vakasaªgho,

Homage to the Sangha who practice well.

148 Appendix A

Resolution (Adhitth±na)

Namo Tassa, Bhagavato, Arahato

(Repeat three times: Homage to the Lord, the
Emancipated, the All-Enlightened Buddha,)

Uk±sa, Accayo No Bhante Accagam± Yath±b±le

Yath±àmu¼he Yath±akusale Ye Maya½ Karamh±
Eva½ Bhante Maya½ Accayo No Paμiggaºhatha
May I take this opportunity of imploring that for
whatever offenses, whether by deed, word or
thought, which I may have committed against the
Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha as I was
deluded, heedless and with unwholesomeness entering
my mind, may I be pardoned. As from this day I
will be cautious and restrained.

May all the great All-Enlightened Buddhas past,

present and to come, numberless as the sands in
the bowels of the four great oceans, impregnate,
illuminate, and irradiate my six senses: the door of
vision (Cakkhu-dv±ra), the door of audition (Sota-
dv±ra), the door of olfaction (Gh±na-dv±ra), the
door of gustation (Jivh±-dv±ra), the door of form
The Pre-Meditation Service 149

(K±ya-dv±ra), and the door of the mind (Mano-

dv±ra), so as to apprehend and perceive the Truth
in its original splendor and pristine purity.

May the Teachings of the Buddhas leading to the

attainment of the Supra-mundane nava-lokuttara
dhamma, ninefold in scope,* revealed times beyond
counting (past, present, and to come), impregnate,
illuminate and irradiate my six senses: cakkhu-dv±ra,
sota-dv±ra, gh±na-dv±ra, jivh±-dv±ra, k±ya-dv±ra,
and mano-dv±ra, so as to apprehend and perceive
the Truth in its original splendor and pristine purity.

May all the Emancipated and Noble Disciples of the

Buddhas, the Sangha, beyond counting (past, present,
and to come), impregnate illuminate, and irradiate,
my six senses: cakkhu-dv±ra, sota-dv±ra, gh±na-
dv±ra, jivh±-dv±ra, k±ya-dv±ra, and mano-dv±ra, as
to apprehend and perceive the truth in its original
splendor and pristine purity.

I hereby invoke the aid of the Buddha, the

Dhamma and the Sangha. And also my good
preceptor, my good mother, my good father, and
all my spiritual resources:
* Ninefold:Sot±patti-magga, sot±patti-phala, sakad±gami-
magga, sakad±gami-phala, an±g±mi-magga, an±g±mi-phala,
arahatta-magga, arahatta-phala, and nibb±na.
150 Appendix A

D±na P±ram²ã Merits of Charity

S²la P±ram² Merits of Morality
Nekkhamma P±ram²ã Merits of Renunciation
Paññ±£P±ram²ã Merits of Wisdom
Viriya P±ram²ã Merits of Perseverance
Khanti P±ram²ã Merits of Fortitude
Sacca P±ram² Merits of Truthfulness
Adhiμμh±na P±ram²ã Merits of Resolution
Mett±àP±ram²ãã Merits of Loving-kindness
Upekkh±àP±ram²ã Merits of Equanimity

Which I have practiced and accumulated for a

hundred existences, a thousand, ten thousand, a
hundred thousand existences. Which I have practiced
and accumulated from the beginning, whether
remembered or not, may all these accumulated
paramis aid me to attain the path (magga) and the
fruit (phala) as at this moment.

Nibb±na paccayo hotu

May this be the means whereby Nibb±na is

ultimately attained.
Appendix B


Abhiññ±££à Supernormal powers and

knowledge consisting of five
mundane (lokiya) powers
attainable through various
degrees of mind concentration
(jh±na) and one supra-
mundane (lokuttara) power
attainable through insight
penetration (Vipassan±)
Adhicitta Higher mentality
Adhipaññ±££ Higher wisdom
Adhis²la Higher morality
Ajahn Thai word for teacher or
meditation instructor
Akusala Unwholesome, immoral,
¾loka-kasiºa Spherical light object of
concentration, such as a clear
bright and luminous crystal
152 Appendix B

An±g±m²ã The “Non-Returner” to the

Realm of Desire (K±maloka);
He or she has cut the five
lower fetters and will be reborn
in a higher world among the
beings of the Pure Abode
(Suddh±v±sa). From there, he
or she will attain Nibb±na.
¾n±p±nasati A meditation technique based
on mindfulness of breathing
Anatt±à Non-self, absence of any grasping
self or ego (See supplementary
Note 11.).
Anicc±à Impermanence; The rising
and passing or changeability of
all compounds, or the appearance
and disappearance of compounds.
The meaning is that compound
things never remain exactly the
same for even one moment,
but that they are vanishing
and reappearing from moment
to moment.
Glossary 153

Anup±disesa- Nibb±na without residue or

Nibb±na any remainder of physical
existence or the mundane
Anupassan±à Contemplation of body, feelings,
mental functions, and dhamma.
Anusaya Evil propensities or passions of
the mind, latent, underlying
conditioning, dormant mental
impurity (also anusaya-kilesa)
Anussati Recollections (ten in number)
mentioned in the scriptures for
use in samadha meditatiom
Arahant Worthy One; the Holy One;
Perfected One; One who has
attained Nibb±na
Ar³paloka Formless Realms or Worlds
Asaªkata Unconditioned
¾sava Cankers, corrupting influences,
defilements of the mind or mental
Asubha Impure, loathsomeness, foulness,
often mentioned in the context
of the body’s impure nature to
154 Appendix B

overcome the delusion of thinking

that the body is beautiful and
formingattachments to it
Avijj±à Ignorance.
Ariyapuggala A Noble One, who has entered
upon the Noble Path by virtue
of his purity and spiritual insight
into Ultimate Reality.
¾yatana The place or sphere where
the most refined Dhammak±ya-
Arahants can exist in Nibb±na
in the highest perfection.
Bhikkhu Buddhist monk who observes
the 227 precepts of discipline.
Brahmak±ya Synonymous with Dhammak±ya;
Purist Body (Does not refer to
the body of the Brahma-being
of the Brahmaloka).
By±p±da ill will.
Citta Thought, mind, a state of
dhamma Phenomenon, nature, any object,
the Five Aggregate elements.
Glossary 155

Dhamma The doctrine proclaimed by

Dhamm±à(plu.) the Buddha after His Enlighten-
ment. The natural laws pertain-
ing to the True nature of
existence; especially concerning
the nature, cause, and cessa-
tion of suffering, and the path
that leads to the end of suf-
fering (The Four Noble Truths.)
Dhammak±ya The supra-mundane body of
the purist element which is
non-compound and not subject
to the three characteristics of
Anicc±, Dukkh± and Anatt±.
Dhammak±ya-å Noble State Wisdom
Dhammak±ya- Non-returner
Dhammak±ya- Perfect One
Dhammak±ya- Once Returner
Dhammak±ya- Stream Winner, a state of
Sot±panna attainment of the first state of
156 Appendix B

Dhutaªga Austere or strict practices for

shaking off defilements
Dhuva½ÿ Permanent, stable
Dibbacakkhu Divine eye, the faculty of
(also Dhamma- supernormal vision, the power
cakkhu) of seeing all that is taking
place in the whole universe –
e.g. the passing away and
arising of beings in the different
worlds such as the hells, the
heavens, etc.
Diμμhi Views or understanding
Dosa Aversion, hatred, anger
Dukkha Suffering, unsatisfactoriness due
to the transient nature of all
Ekaggat±à One-pointedness, as in
concentration of mind
Ekaggat±-ramaºa Sense of one-pointedness;
Jh±na State of meditative absorption
K±machanda Sensual desire
Kamma Volitional action
Glossary 157

Kammaμμh±na Subjects of meditation

Karuº±õà Compassion
Kasiºa A device used as an object
of concentration
K±ya Body or form
Khanda The Five Groups of Existence;
the Five Aggregates (corpore-
ality, feeling, perception, mental
formations, consciousness)
Kilesa Defilements
Kukkucca Worry, uneasiness, conscience
Kusala Wholesome, meritorious
Kusala Kamma A wholesome or meritorious
action which bears fortunate
results in the future
Lobha Greed
Lokiya Mundane
Lokuttara Supra-mundane.
Luang Phor Thai word for addressing a
senior bhikkhu; it has the meaning
of reverend father.
Magga Path
158 Appendix B

M±ra The Evil One; death;

the tempter
Mett±à Loving-kindness
Middha Sloth
Moha Delusion
Mudit±à Sympathetic joy
N±ma-r³pa Mind and form, mind-body
complex, psycho-physical
Nibb±na (Sanskrit = Nirv±na); Literally,
“extinction” (of greed, hatred
and delusion)
Nicca½ÿ Perpetuality, lasting, constant
Nivaraºa Hindrances (to Right Wisdom)
Paññ±££à Wisdom
P±timokkha Disciplinary Code which
represents the 227 monk’s rules;
it is recited before the assembled
community of fully ordained
monks (bhikkhus)
Glossary 159

Parikamma-nimitta Preliminary vision, initial

visualization of the kasiºa or
meditation object (as remem-
Paμhama jh±na First state of absorption
Paμhama-magga Preliminary sign (like the light
sphere) which “appears” when
a basic level of concentration
is reached
Paμibh±ga-nimitta Counter image of the meditation
object which is very clear,
bright and translucent. It can
be made smaller or enlarged
at will. This stage of vision
comes after further development
from the Uggaha-nimitta.
Phala Fruit, result, consequence, effect
Pubbeniv±s±nus- Supernormal knowledge of the
satiñ±ºa recollection of previous existences
Puthujjana An ordinary person, a worldling,
one who has not cut at least
the first three fetters. Not a
Noble One.
160 Appendix B

R³pa-brahma The beings or deities of the

sixteen planes of the Form-
Brahma World.
Sakad±g±m²ã Once-returner, one who has to
return and be born once more
before attaining emancipation or
Sakk±yadiμμhi View regarding personality (Wrong
view with respect to the common
characteristics of all compounds).
Sam±dhi Concentration (a meditative state)
S±maºera A novice monk
Samadha A technique to develop mental
concentration by using a concen-
tration device or kasiºa (the
Buddha has prescribed forty all
together). Its object is tranquility,
calmness, and one-pointedness,
which lead to jh±nas.
Samm±-Arahang Samm±à is from Samm±-
sambuddho, the Buddha’s Supreme
Right Enlightenment or Supreme
Right Wisdom. Arahang means
the virtue of Buddha’s being far
from passions, or his Perfect
Glossary 161

Purity. These are the words

repeated (Parikamma-Bh±van±) in
Vijj± Dhammak±ya.
Sa½s±ra The rounds of repeated
becoming; the cycle of birth,
old age, sickness and death
Saªyojana The Ten Fetters
Saªkh±ra Formations; formed things;
Saññ±££à Perception; memory
Sati Mindfulness
Satipaμμh±na Foundations of Mindfulness
S²la Precepts of morality, purity of
conduct (body, speech, and mind),
practice of restraint of the
S²labbatapar±m±sa Clinging to rites and rituals
(following wrong practices and
believing them to be the path
of purification).
162 Appendix B

Sot±panna “Stream-enterer,” entered on the

Path of Nobleness; the first
stage of Noble Discipleship. (At
least the first three of the
Ten Fetters have been cut to
attain this level.).
Suññat±à Voidness; emptiness
(of defilements); in Majjhima
Nik±ya 121, voiding the mind of
the cankers, in the attainment
of being Arahant is regarded
as the “fully purified and
incomparably highest Voidness.”
T±di Firm, stable
Th²na Torper
Uddhacca Restlessness
Uggaha-nimitta Acquired image
Up±saka Male lay follower with faith
who has taken refuge in the
Buddha, his Doctrine and the
Noble Disciples; true disciples
take on Five Precepts and
abstain from wrong livelihood
such as trading in arms, living
Glossary 163

beings, meat, alcohol, and poison

(i.e., anything which causes harm
or hurt).
Up±sik±à Female lay-follower, feminine
of up±saka
Upekkh±à Equanimity
Uposatha Day Holy Day (New, quarter, half,
three-quarter and full moon.)
Uposathagga The shrine hall within a
monastery where the Disciplinary
Code (P±timokkha) is recited
on full-moon and new-moon days.
Vedan± Feelings, Sensation
Vic±ra Sustained thought (on the object
of concentration)
Vicikicch±à Doubtfulness (on the Dhamma
practices leading to Nibb±na)
Vijj±à Higher knowledge;
transcendental wisdom
Vimutti Release; emancipation
Vimutti-ñ±ºadassana A state of attainment of
knowledge and insight of
salvation or deliverance
164 Appendix B

Viññ±ºa Consciousness
Vip±ka Result
Vipassan±à Penetrative insight, intuitive
vision, seeing as it is
Visaªkh±ra The Non-compound
Wan Phra Thai word for the Uposatha
Wat Thai word for monastery
(e.g. Wat Paknam means
Paknam Monastery)
Appendix C


Meditation Master, Buddhist Scholar & Educator

1. Abbot, Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m (July 9,


2. President of the Executive Committee, National Coordination

center of Provincial Meditation Institutes of Thailand
(Elected by the Directors of Provincial Meditation Institutes
from throughout the country at a Seminar and Practicum
organized by the National Buddhist Office 23-25 April
2008 at Wat Yanawa, Bangkok, Thailand and Recognized
by the Sangha Body)
3. Preceptor (Upachaya – Since January 31, 1996)
4. Director and Principal-Meditation Master, Wat Luang Phor
Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute (Since 2006)
An Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University
5. Vice-chairman of the Administrative Committee, Mahachula-
longkornrajavidyalaya University Region 15 Academic Services
Center (November 19, 2007)

6. Director, Dhammak±ya Buddhist Meditation Institute (1981)

7. Manager, Rajburi Provincial Pali Studies Center (Appointed
by the Sangha Body, October 20, 1999)
8. Director, Rajburi Provincial Meditation Practice Center
(Appointed by the Sangha Body, March 6, 2001.)
166 Appendix C

Figure 20:
Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith 167

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith’s mission is to revitalize
Buddhism, placing equal emphasis on scripture study
and meditation practice. He is currently 80 years
old and carrying out the work of three ordinary
men, working around the clock. He has published
over 50 books, 200 articles, and two journals. He
makes monthly radio and weekly TV broadcasts
nationwide and internationally in both Thai and
English, and has recorded over 800 Dhamma
lectures. His efforts have achieved noteworthy
success both in the national Dhamma and Pali
examinations and in training over 2,000 senior
monks as Vipassan± meditation teachers. Dr. Phra
Rajyanvisith has studied and practiced Buddhist
meditation since 1970. He has passed Nak Dhamma
Ek & Pali Level 6, and has taught meditation since
1982. From 1986-1989, he taught Buddhism at 17
universities and temples throughout the United States.

Wat Luang Phor Sodh

Phra Rajyanvisith has been the Abbot of

Wat Luang Phor Sodh, which he founded and built,
since July 9, 1991. The Wat currently trains over
10,000 participants per year. It has been designated
by the Sangha Body as both a Provincial Pali
168 Appendix C

Studies Center (on October 20, 1999) and as a

Provincial Meditation Training Center (on March 6,
2001). At that time, less than 100 of the 35,000
temples in Thailand had achieved this honor. In
1998, he received the Royal Ecclesiastical Rank of
Phra Bhavana Visutthikhun, and in 2004 the rank of
Phra Rajyanvisith. He received his honorary doctorate
in Buddhist Administration from Mahachulalongkorn-
rajavidyalaya University in 2007. In 2008, he became
National Coordinator of Provincial Meditation Institutes
throughout Thailand.


The major focus of his work has been on

education, with equal emphasis on academic study
and meditation practice. Academically, his Rajburi
Provincial Pali Studies Center prepares students for
the National Dhamma and Pali Examinations (Navaka,
Dhamma 3, 2, & 1, Pali grammar, and all Pali
Levels 1-9). Regular classes are supplemented by
special examination review sessions. The Center
has achieved unprecedented success. In 2003, all
five candidates for the highest (Level 9) examination
passed, making national headlines. In January 2007,
four out of nine Pali Level 9 candidates passed.
Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith 169

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith has led Wat Luang

Phor Sodh to become the Academic Services
Center of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Monk’s
University for Ecclesiastical Region 15 (four central
provinces). The Wat offers courses at the pre-
university and certification levels, as well as a BA
program in Buddhist Studies, and an MA program in
Wat Administration.

Meditation Master

For Meditation Education, Phra Rajyanvisith’s

continuing training programs have prepared around
2,000 monks to become teachers of Vipassan±,
utilizing his three textbooks teaching Samadha-
Vipassan± meditation based on the Four Foundations
of Mindfulness. He has also conducted semi-annual
meditation retreats (May 1-14 and December 1-14)
since 1982. These intensive practice sessions in
small groups include living in tents, and are currently
attended by 600-800 participants – monks, novices
and laity.
In early years, Phra Rajyanvisith took meditation
on the road with “Mobile Meditation Units” teaching
meditation in some provinces throughout Thailand.
The temple currently conducts 3, 5, 7, or 10-day
meditation-Dhamma workshops for thousands of
170 Appendix C

participants from various lay groups (especially

students and teachers, government officials, business
personnel and senior monks) year-round, except
during the rainy-season.
The Wat also conducts an annual three-
week “Hot Season Novices Program” for roughly
300 boys. In addition, there is regular Sunday
Dhamma Practice for laity, with a bus leaving Wat
Saket in Bangkok at 07:00 and returning around
16:00 every week.

International Outreach

Phra Rajyanvisith achieves international outreach

thru the Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation
Institute, an Associated Institution of the World
Buddhist University, established in 2006. It conducts
three 2-week meditation retreats (May 1-14, August
1-14, and December 1-14) and year-round personalized
meditation guidance in English. It also produces
radio programs, publishes books, and supports meditation
online thru its websites (www.dhammacenter.org
and www.meditationpark.org), all in English for
international meditators.
Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith 171


On March 6, 1986, he ordained at Wat

Paknam with the name Sermchai Jayamanggalo,
sponsored by Phra Ong Chao Somsawali (Phra
Worarachathinatdamatu, mother of the royal grand-
daughter). His Preceptor (Upachaya) was His Holiness
Somdej Phra Buddhakosajarn, then Acting Supreme
Patriarch, assisted by His Holiness Somdej Phra
Buddhajarn (the former Phra Phrom Kunaporn),
Abbot of Wat Saket and currently Chairman of the
acting Supreme Patriarch Committee, and His Holiness
Somdej Phramaha-rajamankalajarn (the former Phra
Dhampanyabodi), Abbot of Wat Paknam. His meditation
master was the Venerable Phra Bhavana Kosol
Thera, who is now Phrarajbrahmathera, Deputy
Abbot, Meditation Master, and Director of Meditation
Affairs at Wat Paknam Basicharoen.

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith was born as Sermchai
Polpattanaritdhi on March 6, 1929, in Nangrong
District of Buriram Province. He earned an M.A. in
Public Administration from Thammasart University in
1965, and worked as a Research Specialist in the
Research Office of the United States Information
Service until early retirement at age 57 to ordain
172 Appendix C

as a monk. During this service, he pursued advanced

studies at the Institute for Social Research of the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and in Washington,
D.C. In Bangkok, he also served as a visiting
lecturer on research and evaluation at various Thai
universities, including Thammasart and Bangkok

Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith,
Abbot Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m
Bangpae-Damnoen Saduak Highway (Km 14)
Damnoen Saduak District, Rajburi Province
70130, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 032-745-180, ext. 111; Fax: 032-
Email: info@dhammacenter.org
Appendix D
(Sodh Candasaro)
The Late Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen

The master of the Vijj± Dhammak±ya

approach, the late Abbot of Wat Paknam, the
Venerable Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni, is
fondly known and revered throughout the land as
Luang Phor Wat Paknam, or simply as “Luang Phor
Yai,” meaning senior father or meditation master.
174 Appendix D

Luang Phor was born October 10, 1884 (BE

2427) to a humble rice-merchant family of Supanburi
Province as Sodh, the second child of Nai Ngern
and Nang Sudjai Meekaewnoi. As was typical in
those days, young Sodh received his education
from the temples. At fourteen, when his father died,
he became the chief bread winner for the family.
Successful as he was in rice trading, at age
nineteen the compassionate young man resolved to
become a monk (bhikkhu) for life.
Having made arrangements to ensure his
mother’s welfare, the young man entered monkhood
three years later, in July 1906 (BE 2449). At the
age of twenty-two, he was ordained as Candasaro
Bhikkhu at Wat Songpeenong, near his home. Phra
Ajahn Dee of Wat Pratusarn, Supanburi, was his
main Preceptor.
The day after his ordination, Candasaro
Bhikkhu began meditation practice and study of Pali
scriptures in search of deeper and wider knowledge,
he moved from Wat Songpeenong to Wat Bodhi
(Wat Phra Chetupon Vimonmangkalaram) in Bangkok.
There, he frequented the centers of meditation
practice and Pali study.
Soon, Luang Phor was recognized by his
teachers, Phra Khru Yanavirati (Po) of Wat Bodhi
Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni 175

and Phra Ajahn Singha of Wat Lakorn Tham, as

an accomplished meditation instructor.
During those early dry seasons, Luang Phor
adopted Dhutangavatra, the Austere Practices for
Purification such as wandering in solitude through
the forest wilderness, staying in caves and practicing
the Dhamma with piety.
After ten years, Luang Phor set aside his
informal study of the Pali Scriptures, having reached
sufficiency to read the Mah±-Satipaμμh±na Sutta.
Thereafter he devoted himself totally to meditation
Luang Phor spent the next Buddhist Lent at
Wat Bang Khoo Vieng, on Bangkok Noi Canal,
where his benefactor, Phra Ajahn Choom, was the
abbot. There, at nightfall on the full-moon day of
September, in his twelfth year as a Bhikkhu, Luang
Phor prepared himself for meditation in the uposatha.
He invoked illumination and guidance, and made a
vow dedicating his life to Buddhism. Luang Phor
vowed not to rise from his seat in front of the
Buddha statue until he was permitted to attain
some understanding of the Dhamma as discerned
by the Buddha.
176 Appendix D

With his mind set and its components of

vision, memory, thought and cognition all at rest at
the center of his body, two “Anguli” (joints of the
middle finger) above the navel, Luang Phor was
able to penetrate the full depths of the Dhamma
as it was revealed to and by the Buddha. That
revelation of the Dhamma and ever more refined
Dhammak±yas (Dhamma bodies) was so profound
that it was only possible when the mind was at
rest at the body’s center. After lent, Luang Phor
went to teach at Wat Bang Pla, where three
monks and four laymen who followed his meditation
procedure were also able to attain various degrees
of insight. Thereafter, Luang Phor gradually became
reknowned throughout the land.
Somdej Phra Vanarat, Head of Bhasicharoen
Sangha District, spotted Luang Phor’s potential and
requested him to assume the Abbotship of Wat
Paknam Bhasicharoen. This was a neglected and
deteriorating monastery erected five centuries earlier.
Luang Phor wanted to decline this request, but he
could not. With utmost patience and remarkable
leadership, Luang Phor gradually rebuilt the monastery
until it is today one of the largest and most
important monasteries in the land. In 1949 (BE
2492), Luang Phor received the ecclesiastical rank
of Phra Bhavana-Kosolthera. This was followed by
Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni 177

the title Phra Mongkol-Rajmuni, and in 1957 (BE

2500) by the title Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni.
Vijj±âDhammak±ya, the revelation of the
Dhamma as attained by Luang Phor, was the heart
of his teaching. His service to Buddhism can be
seen from his regular routine:
• Meditating day and night with Bhikkhus and
Up±sik±s in different sessions.
• Leading Bhikkhus and S±maºeras in the uposatha
every morning and evening, paying homage to
the Triple Gems and ending with a sermon.
• Teaching public meditation practice every Thursday
at 2:00 pm.
• Delivering public sermons on holy days (Uposatha
or Wan Phra) and Sundays.
• Supervising the Pali Institute.
Thus, Luang Phor devoted his time and
effort almost exclusively to teaching meditation. His
disciples multiplied into the thousands. It was not
uncommon for revered bhikkhus in far corners of
the country, who apparently never met Luang Phor,
to know him well and to respect him as their
178 Appendix D

His decease at the age of 75, on February

3, 1959 (BE 2502) was just a pause for the
immortal master. His life should serve to remind
other mortals to pursue their own obligations to the
Noble Path carefully. Luang Phor’s teachings live on,
manifesting the Ultimate Righteous Truth.

Written by Phra Bhavana-Kosolthera Veera

Ganuttamo (Now Phrarajbrahmathera)
Appendix E

Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m

Recognized Excellence
• Rajburi: Provincial Meditation Institute & Provincial Pali
Studies Center;
• Sangha Ecclesiastical Region 15 Academic Services Unit
for Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (Covering four
central provinces)
• National Coordination Center of Provincial Meditation Institutes
of Thailand
• Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute, Associated
Institution of the World Buddhist University


Wat Luang Phor Sodh’s excellence has now

been recognized at provincial, regional, national and
international levels. The temple is named after the
late Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, the
Venerable Chao Khun Phra Mongkol-Thepmuni,
affectionately known by his birth name as Luang
Phor Sodh. In 1917, he rediscovered the Vijj±
Dhammak±ya meditation technique, integrating Samadha
180 Appendix E

Figure 21:
Wat Luang Phor Sodh is one of the most beautiful
temples in Thailand and one of the most quiet places
for people to find inner peace.
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 181

and Vipassan±àto reach internal states of tran-

scendence, in accordance with the Four Founda-
tions of Mindfulness. The meditation is effective for
both those who seek to understand reality and the
meaning of life and for those seeking inner purifi-
cation. Wisdom and virtue develop hand-in-hand as
one progresses beyond the distortions of the
The Wat’s objective is to revitalize Buddhism
with equal emphasis on meditation practice and
scripture study. It serves as a provincial center for
both meditation and Pali studies, and as an
educational center for both the World Buddhist
University and the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya
University for monks. It trains over 10,000 participants
per year. Meditation retreats were initiated in 1982
by the precursor of the wat, the Dhammak±ya
Buddhist Meditation Institute. The Wat was registered
in 1991. The campus is a beautifully land-scaped
33-acre park, featuring a lake and rivers surrounded
by grass and trees. Temple buildings are vividly
white, to signify purity. There are generally about
100 monks and 60 novices in residence, joined
continually by hundreds of short-term participants in
the Wat’s constant stream of varied educational
182 Appendix E

The address is Wat Luang Phor Sodh

Dhammak±y±r±m, Damnoen Saduak District, Rajburi
Province 70130, Thailand. It is located at Km. 14 on
the Bang Pae–Damnoen Saduak Highway, 94 km.
southwest of Bangkok. The number 78 air-conditioned
bus from the Southern Bus Terminal will drop you
off at the gate. The Wat Telephone number is
(+66) 032-253-632 (Thai only). For English, please
see www.dhammacenter.org or www.meditation-
park.org, or email: bmi@dhammacenter.org or call
Phra Bart at (+66) 089-068-0521, Phra Bill at (+66)
086-364-8808 or Phra Nat at (+66) 087-686-4635,
or fax (+66) 032-745-170. The Thai language
website is www.dhammakaya.org.

The Wat conducts numerous educational
programs on meditation and scripture study in both
Thai and English, as follows:

Programs in Thai

1. Sunday Dhamma Practice: Wat bus leaves

Wat Saket, Bangkok, at 07:00 and returns
about 16:00.
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 183

2. Workshops: 3, 5, 7, or 10-day meditation-

Dhamma study workshops for various lay
groups – students, teachers, government officials,
state enterprise/private business personnel,
etc., (year-round except during the rainy-
season), train over 20,000 participants per

3. Retreats: Two semi-annual retreats for hundreds

of laity and monks, May and December 1-14,
since 1982.

4. Vipassan± Teacher Training: Two-week

courses for meditation masters, May & Dec
15-28, have trained over 500 monks. By
2010 The Wat will plan to have six two-
week courses. The Wat might have the
ability to train over 1,500 monks a year.

5. Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University:
Pre-university studies for Monks in Region 15,
BA in Buddhist Studies, MA in Buddhist

6. Dhamma Studies School: Three month

preparation for National Dhamma Exams
(Nakdhamma 3, 2, 1).
184 Appendix E

7. Pali Studies School: Three month preparation

for national Pali exams in grammar and
levels 1-9.

8. Radio Broadcasts: Lecture on Dhamma

(Mostly) every 3rd Sunday of every other
month at 08.00 - 08.30 AM. on National
Broadcasting Station of Thailand; Own FM
radio station plus weekly and monthly national
and international Dhamma Talks in Thai.

9. TV Broadcasts: Every 1st. and 3rd Sunday

of the month at 05:30 on Modern 9 TV;
every morning at 05.00 - 06.00 AM. on D-

10. Publications: Over 50 books, numerous

pamphlets, and a monthly journal in Thai.

11. Ordination for Monks: Ordinations most

Saturdays plus special group ordinations.

12. Ordination for Novices: Two-week “Hot

Season” Novices Program.

13. Special Ceremonies: Four major Buddhist

holidays plus Dhammak±ya holidays plus special
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 185

14. 24-hour Meditation for World Peace Continual

advanced meditation in shifts around the
clock. New Meditation Vihara in the lake
now in service.

15. Pilgrimage Center: Now building Phra Maha

Jetiya Somdej to display the Wat’s exceptional
collection of Buddha relics. (See Appendix F.)

16. Center for making merit: The wat is

offering very sacred Buddha statues as
“Thank you” for major donations for Jetiya
construction, some donated by celestial beings.

17. Website: Dhamma & meditation in Thai on


Programs in English

1. Meditation Guidance: Year-round, semi-private

meditation guidance in English, which has
proved astoundingly effective. Come anytime
and stay as long as you like.

2. Retreats: Three intensive retreats May 1-14,

August 1-14, and December 1-14.
186 Appendix E

3. Meditation Online: Meditation guidance, Q&A

interaction, forums, and downloadable meditations
at www.meditationpark.org.

4. Website: Buddhist Meditation Institute (An

Associated Institution of the World Buddhist
University) at www.dhammacenter.org.

5. Radio Broadcasts: Monthly Dhamma Talks

over National Broadcasting Service of Thailand
– 08:00 on the first Sunday of each month
on FM88, FM95.5, FM107, and AM918.
Downloadable from websites and published
every six months.

6. Publications:

1. Phra Rajyanvisith 1991, 1997 & 2009, The

Heart of Dhammak±ya Meditation Volume 1,

2. Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith, Sunday Dhamma Talks

Volume 1, 2550 (2007) with successive volumes
every 6 months.

3. Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith, Sunday Dhamma Talks

Volume 2, 2551 (2008).
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 187

4. Mae Chee Amphai Tansomboon 2009, The

Buddha Dhamma Propagation of Phra
Mongkolthepmuni. MA Thesis Mahachulalong-
kornrajavidyalaya University (2nd Ed.)

5. Potprecha Cholvijarn 2009, Nibb±na as Self

or Not Self: Some Contemporary Thai
Discussions, MA thesis University of Bristol.

6. See www.dhammacenter.org for up-to-date

listing of additional publications.

The Origin of the Wat

This is the history of Wat Luang Phor Sodh
Dhammak±y±r±m and also the reason why I established
the temple and quit my job to become a monk.
When I was still a layman, about 12
years before resigning from the U.S. Information
Service in Bangkok, I brought my two daughters
to Wat Paknam to study meditation. I realized
already then that the Vijj±àDhammak±ya Approach
which was taught there is very helpful in giving
the practitioner the right wisdom to see and
understand how things really are, rather than just
reading the scriptures and listening to the teachers.
My daughters started practicing and they were
188 Appendix E

both soon capable of seeing both Heaven and

Hell and also Nibb±na.
I was already interested in Dhamma at
that time and had read many books by Luang
Phor Bhuddadasa and other meditation masters.
So, I understood the basic structure of Buddhist
practice: the precepts, concentration of mind,
development of Right Wisdom, and Samadha-
Vipassan±àmeditation which enables us to see
the right concept of The Four Noble Truths.
I knew the theory, but when reading the
many text-books. I never came across a meditation
technique which would go as deep as the technique
taught by Luang Phor Wat Paknam. In terms of
concentration of mind (Sam±dhi) and Right Wisdom
development (Vipassan±) his method leads the
practitioner to better and purer supernatural vision.
My daughters were then 12 and 14 years
old and both of them reached a rather high level
of meditation, right up to Dhammak±ya. At that
time I was interested in knowing where my late
father was reborn. Knowing how good my daughters’
meditation was, their meditation master advised
them to inspect and find out where my father was.
I was only 20 years old when he passed away.
That was one year before I became married, so
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 189

my daughters never knew their grandfather. In

fact, they had never seen a picture of him.
After some time, both girls saw that my
father had been reborn in Hell. This was because
of his drinking. My father didn’t really drink a lot,
just a small glass in the morning to enable him to
eat more and then a glass in the evening so he
could enjoy dinner. Occasionally he would invite
some friends for a drink, but not to get drunk, just
for good digestion. But, that happened regularly and
it became a habit. According to Lord Buddha’s
teachings, anyone who violates the precepts of
morality, in this case the 5th, will be reborn in
suffering worlds, namely the worlds of Hell, the
world of animals, the world of ghosts, or the world
of demons. Even though my father was not a
heavy drinker, it still became a habit and he was
attached to it.
So, you see, this meditation method gives
you the right information or Right Wisdom by
seeing through this right and effective method of
Right Concentration as taught by Luang Phor Wat
Here is another example of how a meditator
can see the natural reality that a lay person
cannot experience. One day two dogs, a male and
190 Appendix E

a female, were having let us say “a close

relationship” and the meditation master asked my
daughters to check where the dogs came from, by
bringing in the center of the male dog for inspection
at the center of the center and thereby recalling
the previous generations and past lives. When they
came to the fourth generation, they saw that he
had been a man, but because of bad conduct in
the form of adultery he was reborn as a dog.
I worked at the USIS as a research
specialist at that time, so I already knew that if
you get the right information by the right method
you will be able to see reality. Also, the more
perfect information or reliable data you get, the
better the conclusion of the analysis will be.
My daughters were very innocent, for they
were still young. They did not study any text
books, but they could meditate at a very high
level. This was because their minds were still pure
and unattached to external objects. With them as
a reliable source of data, I now had perfect
information, proving that craving leads to bad
speech, bad ideas, and bad conduct such as
adultery and drinking liquor. The effect of committing
these sins and practicing them regularly until they
become a habit, an attachment, would lead to
rebirth in a suffering world.
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 191

I realized then that the Vijj±àDhammak±ya

Meditation Approach taught by Luang Phor Wat
Paknam is indeed very effective. It uses the best
of the 40 methods taught by Lord Buddha, in this
case the crystal ball (¾loka Kasiºa). It is one of
the most effective ways to bring in the mind’s
components (the Sphere of Vision, the Sphere of
Memory, the Sphere of Thought, and the Sphere of
Awareness) to stop still at the right point. These
four natural spheres of each individual person
always tend to wander outside the body, getting
attached to many objects. Therefore, it can be
difficult to bring them in to stop still at the proper
place, which is at the center of the body where
the internal body, mind and Dhamma exist.
We don’t just have the crude body and
mind, we also have several refined bodies, minds
and Dhamma at the center of the center of each
other, right up to the purest mind and body which
is Dhammak±ya. Lord Buddha told us that he is,
or is called, Dhammak±ya, the purest element
beyond the five aggregates of the worldly beings.
In the Samadha-Vipassan±àmeditation method
taught by Luang Phor Wat Paknam, the students
are told to imagine a sphere of which the center
is located at the center of the body. The center
192 Appendix E

of the body is where our breathing in and out

begins and ends, about two inches above the
navel. Luang Phor Wat Paknam advised us to
concentrate our mind’s components at that point,
where the internal body, mind and Dhamma exist at
the center of each other. Imagining the sphere
means that your mind components are all in the
sphere. This enables you to develop a high level
of concentration up to the first Jh±na or absorption,
removing all hindrances to Right Wisdom automatically.
This is the first method according to the Vijj±
Dhammak±ya approach.

Secondly, while imagining the center of the

sphere at the center of the body, Luang Phor also
advised students to recite the words “Samm±
Arahang” at the very center. Samm± comes from
Samm±sambuddho meaning Right Enlightenment, Lord
Buddha’s Right Wisdom. Arahang means Lord Buddha’s
purity, being far removed from passion and bad
conduct. By reciting Samm± Arahang we are
recalling Lord Buddha’s virtues in terms of Right
Wisdom and Purity. This is a Samadha approach
which will help us to calm down our mind to
become purer and purer at the center of the body.
Imagine the sphere. If it is difficult for you,
you may observe that your breathing in and out
will pass through the center of the sphere. This will
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 193

help you to see it more clearly. Do not move

your mind up and down with your breath. The
mind should stop still at the center of the sphere
all the time These three methods combined are
very effective:
• Imagining the sphere and concentrating
your mind at its center;
• Recollecting the virtues of Lord Buddha in
terms of reciting the words Samm± Arahang
and bringing these virtues into your mind;
• Observing your breath passing through the

This will cover all aspects of Right Concentration

of mind and can solve problems of any kind for
the meditator. There is really no need to use other
methods. The three methods previously mentioned
are perfect.
When the practitioner’s mind components are
calmed down and perfectly concentrated at the
center of the body, all elements of the six sense
organs will automatically be there. Because of this,
supernatural vision will be developed effectively,
enabling the meditator to see more and more
refined things and thereby obtain better Right
194 Appendix E

With your physical eyesight you can only

see crude objects. With your supernatural vision
you can see celestial bodies in Heaven and ghosts
in Hell. This is what happened for my daughters in
the aforementioned example.
You can go further, seeing the Brahman
Body and mind, the Formless Brahman Body and
mind, and beyond that the Dhammak±ya, which is
the purest state of mind. You can then carry on
developing purer and purer Dhamak±ya until you
reach the most refined which will appear in Nibb±na.
It is completely detached from the worldly Five
Aggregates, crude or refined, detached from the
whole world. In that state of mind you will have
the purest and most reliable supernatural vision,
namely, Buddha-Cakkhu.
Buddha-Cakku will enable you to see two
kinds of nature: First, compound things like the
crude body and mind, celestial body and mind, the
aggregates and elements and dhamma. Second, you
will see the non-compound which is Nibb±na. Yes,
you can actually see what is going on in Nibb±na.
This is very important because any meditation
practitioner or any Buddhist would, of course, like
to reach Nibb±na. Most meditation masters are only
able to explain the conditions of Nibb±na (that it is
void of self and free of passions and cravings).
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 195

That is all they can explain. I have never heard

of any other method in this country or even in
the world that enables you to see Nibb±na. Only
the Vijj± Dhammak±ya approach as taught by
Luang Phor Wat Paknam can lead you to it.
Those who can see Nibb±na will clearly
understand Lord Buddha’s teachings on the three
aspects of the non-compound in the Nibb±na-Sutta
I, II and III, which state that these non-compound
elements exist. You will understand perfectly that,
first, Nibb±na is a condition void of self and free
of passion or craving.
Second, Nibb±na is the possessor of those
conditions, the enlightened Dhammak±ya. (Lord Buddha
and the saints are the enlightened Dhammak±ya,
not the Five Aggregates of Human Beings or
Celestial, Brahman or Formless Brahman Beings.)
Third, Nibb±na is also the place where the
enlightened Dhammak±ya exists.
These three aspects of Nibb±na can be
understood through the method of meditation taught
by Luang Phor Wat Paknam. It made me understand
clearly the third Noble Truth (extinction of suffering)
and the effective method of extinction of suffering,
much clearer than through any other meditation
196 Appendix E

Lord Buddha taught about three character-

istics of Nibb±na: Nibb±na is supreme happiness,
permanent and immortal (everlasting). This is the
exact opposite of compound things. He said “Bhikkus,
you should find a refuge or self. Let me try to
explain the meaning of the words “refuge or self”.
Even though the human being or the aggregates
are impermanent, we can still use them as a
refuge to develop virtues up to the non-compound
refuge which then becomes the real self. Lord
Buddha only talked about the “self” twice in the
scriptures. Maybe he did not want to confuse
people. The word “non-self” is difficult enough to
comprehend. But when one fully absorbs the mean-
ing of that word, the understanding of “self” will
appear automatically.
Let me explain it like this. Everything permanent
is happy. Everything never-changing exists forever.
The non-compound is in command, so to speak. It
controls itself to exist forever, to be happy
permanently, not to be sick, not to die, and then
not to be reborn. We are then in control or
command. We are “self” or our refuge. But if the
compound says “I do not want to die...”, it will die
anyway. It is impermanent, not in control. It is “non-
self.” But we can still use it as a sort of “tem-
porary self” which then later will be emancipated
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 197

through vimutti from defilements (crude and subtle)

and become the “real self”. For anyone who becomes
enlightened, that is Dhammak±ya or Lord Buddha or
a saint, when they die, only the Five Aggregates
will die. The non-compound element, the enlightened
Dhammak±ya will exist forever in Nibb±na.
Knowing the cause of suffering is not the
end. One must also know the cause of the cause.
The utmost original cause of suffering and the
original factor of happiness. All this can be developed
through Dhammak±ya meditation.
At Wat Paknam, for example, they still help
to cure sickness through meditation. Because of
that, many people come to support Wat Paknam.
Even though Luang Phor Wat Paknam passed away
many years ago, it is still one of the best temples
in Thailand. Why? Because the meditation there
helps people to be happy and to live good lives.
Not only that, it will also help towards elimination
of what I call the “un-peace” in individuals, the
community, the nation, and the world. By the word
“un-peace” I mean the disharmony, agitation, unrest,
turmoil, conflict and commotion, etc.
Luang Phor Wat Paknam always said that
Thailand can withstand external enemies and serious
problems because of the Buddhist religion and the
198 Appendix E

Vijj±àDhammak±ya Meditation method. Other methods

can also help, but not so effectively. So, you see,
this unique method can help world peace. This,
together with the other benefits mentioned earlier
was why I selected Luang Phor Wat Paknam’s
meditation approach.
In 1975 I organized the Dhammak±ya Meditation
for People Project at Wat Paknam. The Abbot of
Wat Paknam is the President of the project. The
Vice-presidents are the Vice-Abbot for Educational
Affairs, Phra Thep Suthee and the Vice Abbot for
Meditation Affairs, Phra Rajbrahmathera. The committee
members are monks and lay people. The people
active in this project have, in fact, been Phra
Rajbrahmathera and myself.
By broadcasting radio programs with the
theory and practice over about thirty nationwide
stations since 1975, I have experienced an increased
interest in this meditation method throughout the
country. People started to ask for meditation
masters to help teaching at their temples and
organizations, but we did not then have enough
qualified masters at Wat Paknam. I then proposed
a plan to recruit monks from all over the country
to come and be trained at the temple, but found
that the place was not peaceful enough for that
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 199

purpose. Therefore, in 1981, I organized another

project, the Buddha Bhavana Vijj± Dhammak±ya
Project, this time at Wat Saket. In this way I could
teach more people in the center of Bangkok and
also have more manpower and response for establishing
a future institute.
During that year, I obtained some land in
Rajburi Province for establishing the proposed institute.
An area of about 30 rai (13.5 acres) was donated
by a well-to-do family and I then bought an
additional 42 rai (19 acres) from the donor. In order
to make it all more effective, we then organized a
registered foundation. Professor Bunyut Suchiva, a
former President of the Supreme Court, has been
President of this foundation from its very beginning.
This was because we needed proper legal, financial
and property management as well as fund raising.
The area here was at that time a rice field,
but because of its dryness and salty soil, it was
not good for anything. During the day it was very
hot because there were only a few trees in the
area. Also, being so close to the sea and rather
windy, it was very cold in the cold season.
We began organizing meditation sessions
in 1982 and I spread the news about this among
monks throughout the country. We needed to help
200 Appendix E

monks to become better qualified in the theory

and practice of our meditation method and to
eventually become meditation masters. Also, I
was concerned that this religion would not uphold
its standards in terms of the behavior and
practice of its monks and novices. Twice a year
since then we have organized retreats from May
1-15 and December 1-15. During the May retreat,
300-400 monks and novices and approximately
the same number of lay people and nuns attend
the course. During the December retreat there are
usually 400-600 monks and novices and a similar
number of laity and nuns present.
I, alone, could not do much to change the
structure of the Buddhist organization and practice
in this country, as I am by no means powerful, but
only a small person. What I could do, however,
was to establish this institute to organize meditation
sessions and teach both theory and practice to the
monks. Both monks and novices are trained here
so they can prepare themselves in becoming future
teachers and meditation masters. We do our very
best as far as manpower, property and capability
will allow us.
Through our meditation sessions, we give
monks, novices and lay people the knowledge of
effective theory and practice. Through concentration
Wat Luang Phor Sodh 201

of mind they will be able to develop pure

supernatural vision which, in turn, will bring them
right and reliable data, enabling them to develop
Right Wisdom and become enlightened.
My intention is to help restore Buddhist
practice in our country and also abroad. Apart
from training people here at the temple, we still
broadcast meditation programs over about thirty
radio stations and we also telecast through Channel
9 and regional channels. We recently made a
program for Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday on
August 12, meditating along with the Abbot of Wat
Paknam. This is just one example of mediation for
the public. Whenever our nation has serious problems
such as a serious demonstration, we will help with
meditation for the nation.
Here at the temple we have regular daily
practice. Every Sunday, lay people from Bangkok
and other provinces come to perform merit and
We support any temple or organization
that would like to train their own people by
supplying qualified meditation masters from here
and by giving advice throughout the nation and
abroad. I was invited to teach in Malaysia 2-3
times a year and lectured in the United States
202 Appendix E

for four years. The Somdej Phra Buddhacarn of

Wat Saket, however, advised me to encourage
foreigners to come here for training rather than
going abroad, because I am starting to get old.
Inside Thailand, we established mobile medi-
tation teams. After the two main meditation re-
treats of the year in May and December, we
organized visiting monks to make two or three
stops on their way back to their own temples to
teach meditation at other selected temples. These
mobile meditation teams reached into all regions of
the country. I am hoping that this meditation
method will enable people to become more peaceful
and have more prosperity. Furthermore, I hope this
meditation method will be able to help remove the
suffering and “un-peace” in this country and in the
In 1991 this area was registered as a
legitimate organization or temple, and on July 9th
of the same year I was unanimously voted for and
then appointed as the Abbot. So, that is the
history of this temple and why I selected the
Vijj±àDhammak±ya approach as our meditation method
and why I quit my job at age 57, three years
before my retirement age, to become a monk for
Appendix F

Wat Luang Phor Sodh’s biggest and most

important current project is constructing Phra Maha
Jetiya Somdej to enshrine sacred Buddha relics, to
pay reverence to Lord Buddha, and to prolong the
life of Buddhism. The Jetiya is expected to become
a major Buddhist pilgrimage site for paying rever-
ence to sacred Buddhist relics.
The Wat has an extraordinary collection of
Buddha relics. There are crystal replicas of all
seven relics which escaped cremation – the four
wisdom teeth, two collar bone pieces, and the
forehead piece. The original relics are preserved
elsewhere, so these crystal reproductions were
materialized and donated by senior celestial beings.
In addition, there are numerous genuine relics.
These include 115 pearl-sized pieces of Lord Buddha’s
breast bone, about 20 very refined hairs of Lord
Buddha and many long black hairs of Prince
Siddhattha, as well as many smaller granular relics
from Lord Buddha and some Arahant disciples.
The relics are not yet on outside public
display except on special days. The temple is
204 Appendix F

Figure 22: The Architect’s Model

Expected Completion Date 2011

Figure 23:
A Sample of Buddha Relics at Wat Luang Phor Sodh
Phra Maha Jetiya Sodej 205

currently receiving donations to build a very beau-

tiful Jetiya, Phra Maha Jetiya Somdej, for displaying
the relics. Construction is currently in phase II. The
foundation is laid and the first floor under construc-
tion. There will be four floors. The ground floor will
house the management offices and provide a place
for 2,000 laity to meditate, conduct ceremonies,
and hold general conferences. The second floor will
be a large meditation hall for 2,000 monks. The
third floor will be a museum of important Buddha
statues. Finally, the fourth floor will display the
Buddha relics.
The estimated ultimate cost, including deco-
rations, is 450 million Baht. This is a unique
opportunity for devotees worldwide to participate in
one of the most sacred enterprises of modern
Buddhism. The Jetiya is destined to preserve the
faith and revitalize the faithful for centuries. His
Holiness Somdej Phra Buddhacharn, Chairman of
the Supreme Sangha Body, is Chairman of the
Jetiya Fund Raising Committee. Donating to this
magnificent cause is the most effective merit-making
opportunity any of us will encounter in this lifetime.
To express gratitude for generous con-
tributions, the temple is offering a variety of very
sacred Buddha statues as “Thank You” gifts. Some
206 Appendix F

were received in sacred ceremonies from eminent

celestial beings. Others are very rare and extremely
valuable antiques Also, the names of those who
donate at least 100,000 baht will be engraved in
the Jetiya.
There are three methods for making a
1. Directly at Wat Luang Phor Sodh
2. By mailing a crossed check (two diagonal
lines in the upper right hand corner) to Wat Luang
Phor Sodh, specified for Jetiya construction; and
3. By bank transfer to either (3.1) Bangkok
Bank Damnoen Saduak Branch Account 422-0-
25469-4 for Wat Luang Phor Sodh Jetiya construc-
tion, or to (3.2) Siam Commercial Bank Damnoen
Saduak Branch Account 540-2-18485-8 for Wat
Luang Phor Sodh Jetiya construction. When donat-
ing by bank transfer, please fax the bank transfer
receipt with a covering letter giving the name,
address and fax number of the donor. The Wat
fax number is (+66) 032-745-170.
Appendix G


An Associated Institution
of the World Buddhist University

Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation
Institute, an Associated Institution of the World
Buddhist University, teaches Concentration-Insight
Meditation (Samadha-Vipassan±), which has proved
astoundingly effective. Meditation proceeds to
successively higher levels by always focusing at
the center of the center.
Of the 254 meditators from over 25 countries
served through January 2009, essentially all found
inner peace, half meditated to trance absorption
(Jh±na), seeing their own Refined Human Body,
almost four out of ten (38%) transcended to
Dhammak±ya or Noble Disciple level, and, more
than two out of ten (22%) meditated all the way
to the top, experiencing Nirv±na temporarily. Most
participants rated the experience very or extremely
valuable. For some, it opened new worlds. Here are
a few of the many tributes from former meditators:
208 Appendix G

• A once in a lifetime opportunity!

• Showed me a new world!
• Put life in a much bigger perspective!
• Encouraged me to live in a more altruistic
• In Nirv±na I was overwhelmed; I knew
I don’t have to doubt any more!

Meditation Guidance
BMI offers Meditation Guidance or semi-
private tutoring in English all year round, starting
whenever you choose and lasting as long as you
like. If you have the time, please try to come for
10 days to two weeks, for maximum payoff. It
generally requires 5-7 days to develop the inner
calm necessary for rapid progress. But, individuals
vary greatly, so all are welcome for either longer
or briefer periods.
The program has many options, so each
meditator can adapt it to his or her own preferences.
Breakfast is at 06:30 and lunch at 11:00. We
practice 8 precepts, which implies no eating afternoon.
The core of each day is either three or four
guided, sitting meditation sessions, depending on
Buddhist Meditation Institute 209

how long one can stay. Meditations average 45

minutes. They are usually intimate, with not more
than 5-10 participants. Meditations are recorded on
MP3 for individual practice, and provided on CD to
take home (Group A at 07:00, 09:00, 01:00, &
03:00. Group B at 08:00, 10:00, 14:00 and 16:00.)
Serious Buddhists often add Morning or Evening
Chanting and Meditation, held everyday at 05:30
and 19:00. Even casual visitors enjoy attending
once as a memorable experience. At Evening
Chanting, meditators can be taught personally, in
English, by the revered Meditation Master, Dr. Phra
Other memorable experiences include going
along on the morning alms round at 6:00 AM and
practical “how to live a good life” discussions with
Phra Bill or Phra Nat. For those who volunteer to
teach, perhaps most memorable are the fun interactions
with monks and novices eager to learn and
practice English (Daily 12:30-14:00). Participants interested
in learning more about Buddhism can do this
through directed readings and discussion. Finally,
Most unforgettable for those who can scale the
heights, is the indelible experience of the most
lovely, most serene state ever experienced –
210 Appendix G

The meditation atmosphere is the middle

path — serious, but not overly harsh, with consid-
erable flexibility in accordance with each participant’s
preferences. Meditators wear simple, white clothes
to signify purity. Some white clothing is available
free and top quality new outfits are available at
the temple administration office for 490 or 990
Baht per set. Meditators take eight precepts — no
killing, stealing, sex, improper speech, intoxicants,
eating afternoon, partying or entertainments or or-
naments or makeup, and no high or luxurious beds.
Sleeping is generally on thin mattresses on the
floor under mosquito nets. Tents are available for
those seeking more seclusion. There is no smoking
on the Wat campus.
On the other hand, we do not practice
“Noble Silence” (no talking), the food is the delicious
(and often spicy) Thai cuisine that has become
world renowned, and we have our own water
purification plant. Vegetarians are generally asked
to select what they can eat from what is offered,
but the kitchen will do their best to accommodate
individual requirements. Please know that they often
cook for 1,000 people per day, so they are limited
in how much individual attention they can give you.
Buddhist Meditation Institute 211

Meditation Retreats
BMI offers three intensive retreats per year,
May 1-14, August 1-14, and December 1-14. Retreats
are similar to guided meditation, but more intensive,
with a sunrise meditation at 05:30. They usually
involve 20-50 international meditators. Several hundred
monks and laity attend the Thai retreat simultaneously
in May and December. During retreats there is
more access to the venerable Meditation Master in
joint Thai-English sessions. This is especially useful
for those who become advanced. There is also
more chance to study Buddhist practices, Vinaya,
Dhamma and Chanting. The large number of participants
necessarily implies less silence.

The BMI Team

The Abbot and Meditation Master, Chao
Khun Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith directs the Institute
and teaches advanced meditation. He is one of
Thailand’s most eminent Meditation Masters, Buddhist
scholars, and Educators. Dr. Phra Rajyanvisith has
led the Wat to become a widely recognized center
of excellence in both meditation practice and
Buddhist studies. It is now the Coordination Center
of Provincial Meditation Institutes throughout Thailand
and the Wat’s Buddhist Meditation Institute is an
212 Appendix G

Associated Institution of the World Buddhist University.

The Abbot is fluent in English and will personally
teach advanced meditators.
Phra Bart or Khru Baitika Dr. Barton Yanathiro,
an American monk, heads the BMI management
team and teaches introductory and intermediate
meditation with notable success. He is a former
professor and international development specialist,
with a Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Psychology from
Cornell University, who has been a monk since
March 6th 2002. Phra Bart was a professor of
research methodology and was impressed by the
depths of what Lord Buddha learned just sitting
under a tree. He has concluded that meditation is
the best methodology for understanding reality and
how to live profitably, and is eager to teach it to
all who are interested, worldwide.
Phra Bill or Phra William Akapunyo, another
American monk, heads “Meditation Online” on the
www.meditationpark.org website. Phra Bill, born
1964, first became a monk at Wat Mongkol-
Thepmuni in Philadelphia on June 25th 2007. After
a brief time out to see Thailand, he ordained again
at Wat Luang Phor Sodh on Nov 29th 2008. He
previously spent 12 years in the Navy and owned
a T-shirt printing store. Bill initially contacted Wat
Buddhist Meditation Institute 213

Mongkolthepmuni to learn Thai, an activity that

continues today. He distinguished himself as hard-
working, dependable, and sincere. At Wat Luang
Phor Sodh, Bill has demonstrated prowess in
teaching mindful living through friendly interactive
conversation and in effective outreach, coming up
with our slogan, “Inner peace is closer than you
Phra Nat or Phra Natpakanan Kunanggalo is
a Thai monk who studied and worked in the United
states for six years. Phra Nat is spearheading
Publications and website development. He developed
both the www.dhammacenter.org website for
BMI and the www.meditationpark.org website for
meditation online.
Phra Nat ordained as a monk at Wat Luang
Phor Sodh for the second time on February 8th,
2009. He graduated from Bangkok University in
Marketing in 1994, and then ordained for his first
time to make merit for his father who had just
passed away. He was a monk at Wat Luang Phor
Sodh from 1994 to 2000, and then left to study
abroad in the USA. He earned an MBA from
Eastern Washington University in 2006.
Phra Nat says: I have been a Buddhist
since birth, because my family was Buddhist, but I
214 Appendix G

never studied Buddhism until I became a monk in

1994. I have learned that the teachings of Lord
Buddha are not reserved for Buddhists; they are
for everyone regardless of religion, race, and color.
If you study, you will understand for yourself.
Especially meditation can be a big benefit for
everyone in everyday life. Furthermore, the Four
Noble truths, the heart of Buddhism, are very
profound wisdom about reality that one should
study in depth. You can see for yourself.
The BMI Team is assisted by many Thai
layperson volunteers. Khun Vishan coordinates a
large number of volunteers who help during retreats,
and Acharn Damrong, teaches advanced meditation
in Thai and Mandarin Chinese during retreats or by
special arrangement.

Please see our website www.dhamma-
center.org, where you can register online or email
us at bmi@dhammacenter.org or call Phra Bart at
(+66) 089-068-0521, Phra Bill at (+66) 086-364-8808
or Phra Nat at (+66) 087-686-4635, or fax (+66)
032-740-170. For meditation online, see
Buddhist Meditation Institute 215

Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammak±y±r±m is 2

hours southwest of Bangkok by #78 air-conditioned
bus, which leaves from the left-hand sidewalk
outside the Southern Bus Terminal, every 20 minutes
06:00-19:00. Do not look for the bus inside
the station and Do Not Take Any Other
Bus!!! Look for the bus in stall #1 or by the large
blue sign in English towards the back of the
sidewalk which says “No. 78 Damnoen Saduak,
Bus fare is about 70 baht, paid on board.
Tell the conductress to inform you when to get
down at Wat Luang Phor Sodh. Remind her again
after 1.5 hours. (They often forget.) If possible, text
Phra Bart (089-068-0521) or Phra Bill (086-364-
8808) or Phra Nat (087-686-4635) your name
and departure time as you leave Bangkok. Please
arrive at the Wat between 06:00 and 18:00; it is
difficult to make contact after dark. (We invite you
for Lunch at 11:00.)
216 Appendix G

Figure 24:
Map to Wat Luang Phor Sodh
Appendix H

Wat Luang Phor Sodh has websites in both

English and Thai. The English-language website is
www.dhammacenter.org. Meditation Online is at
www.meditationpark.org and the Thai-language website
is www.dhammakaya.org. The English language
website www.dhammacenter.org focuses on the
Wat Luang Phor Sodh Buddhist Meditation Institute,
an Associated Institution of the World Buddhist
University, which conducts year-round meditation
training in English. It also presents the abbot’s
monthly English-language radio broadcasts, which
are downloadable as both sound-tracks and printed
scripts. In addition, the website provides an ever
increasing collection of original translations of key
items of Dhamma.
The www.meditationpark.org website makes
“meditation online” available to all who are inter-
ested, worldwide, regardless of geographical loca-
tion, religion, ability to travel, or ability to pay. It
is aimed at reaching out around the globe to those
seeking release from the hectic stress of modern
com-petitiveness or looking beyond the hollow emp-
tiness of modern consumerism. It provides simple
218 Appendix H

guidance to introductory meditation techniques which

have proven exceptionally effective, together with
direct Q&A interaction, forums, and downloadable
guided meditations. Those who progress can ad-
vance step-by-step to gradually more advanced
meditations. These are the same meditations that
have opened new doors for meditators visiting BMI.
Very few of our students are Buddhist. Most claim
“no religion.” We teachers are Buddhists, but we
are just teaching meditation. We ask you to “See
for yourself.”